Connecticut’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in March, climbing to 5.7 percent, as job growth essentially remained flat, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The state has added 5,600 jobs since the start of 2016, but still has not fully recovered from The Great Recession. Through the most recent report, Connecticut has regained 91,400, or 76.7 percent, of the 119,100 jobs it lost during the last economic downturn.
“Although the rise in the unemployment rate this month was unexpected, there are some positive aspects to the move,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research for the Labor Depatment. “The rise in unemployment occurred in a growing labor force, meaning it was driven by more people entering the labor market looking for work rather than a decrease in the number of employed. Job growth is occurring, but not fast enough to employ all of those recently entering the market.”
Six of the state’s 10 major industry super-sectors sdded jobs in March led by trade, transportation and utilities, which gained 1,300 positions. Gains also were recorded in: leisure and hospitality, government, professional and business, information, and education and health services.
Of the four super-sectors that lost jobs, construction and mining fell the most, down 1,100 positions. Losses also were recorded in: manufacturing, financial activities, and other services.
Three of the four labor market areas recorded job growth in March, led by the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford area, which was up 1,100. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and Norwich-New London-Westerly markets also recorded gains.
The New Haven labor market area was the only one to lose ground in March down 700 jobs.
The Labor Department also reported that average hourly earnings in Connecticut stood at $30.06 in March, up $1.02 or 3.5 percent from March 2015.