State’s jobless rate falls to 5.6 percent

Connecticut’s unemployment dropped slightly from 5.7 to 5.6 percent in August as the state added 300 jobs, the Department of Labor reported Monday.

The new unemployment rate still remained higher in August than the 5.3 percent rate of one year ago.

“A relatively quiet month in Connecticut’s labor market as our unemployment rate continues to decline for the second consecutive month,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research.

Connecticut, which has added 18,600 positions over the past 12 months, still has not recovered all jobs — or even all private-sector jobs — lost in the last recession, lagging well behind the national average.

The state has recovered 103,200, or 92.4 percent of private-sector jobs lost, and 96,600 or 81.1 percent of all jobs lost in the last recession, which ended six-and-a-half years ago.


Four of the state’s 10 major industry super-sectors added jobs in August, led by education and health services, which added 2,000 positions. Gains also were recorded in the government, leisure and hospitality, and information super-sectors.

The largest loss was recorded in construction and mining, which was down 1,700 jobs. Losses also were recorded in: professional and business services; financial activities; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; and other services.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association decried the report.

CBIA economist Peter Gioia called it “bitterly disappointing, noting that the net gain of 300 jobs largely was driven by 1,800 jobs added in the government sector against 1,500 jobs lost in the private sector.

“These numbers show that the state economy’s foundation needs to be fortified, he said.  “… On balance, this is a report we wish we didn’t get.”

All four of the state’s labor market areas gained jobs.

Average hourly earnings in Connecticut were $30.39 per hour, up $1.04 or 3.5 percent.

Connecticut unemployment rate over time

Connecticut unemployment rate over time