Connecticut’s private sector gained “a solid 5,000 jobs” in February as the state’s unemployment rate remained at 5.5 percent, according to the monthly labor report released Thursday by the state Department of Labor.
“Nonfarm jobs grew briskly in February, but it is important to note that some of that growth was a rebound from vacation-affected declines in education that occurred in January,” said Andy Condon, the department’s research director. “In hindsight, January was likely a bit better than we were able to report and actual growth in February may be a little more moderate.”
The education and health sector produced 5,300 new jobs, the biggest gains, and was one of five sectors to show growth. Manufacturing grew by 1,000. Five others declined, partly offsetting the gains.
“We believe this is good news and a step in the right direction,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.
The January jobs gain of 900 was revised upward to 1,200.
Net job growth in February was only 4,200 as the public sector recorded fewer jobs. The public sector includes the two casinos in eastern Connecticut, since they are owned by tribal governments.
The monthly jobs report is based on two surveys, one of businesses and one of households, that economists say produce valuable data on trends over months and years, less so from month to month. The statistics are frequently revised when the surveys are compared to other data.
Last month the Department of Labor significantly reduced its original job growth projections for 2015 by 14,700 positions. Original job growth of 26,900 was reduced to 12,200.
Connecticut now has recovered 91,200 job, or 76.6 percent of the 119,100 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs lost in the 2008 recession. The state’s nonfarm jobs recovery is now 72 months old and is averaging 1,267 jobs per month since February 2010.