Connecticut’s unemployment rate ticked upward from 4.4 percent to 4.5 percent in January, despite the gain of 5,700 jobs, the state Department of Labor reported Friday.

The number of unemployed in Connecticut rose by 3,000 in January as more people returned to the labor force seeking work. The unemployment rate calculation only considers those either employed or actively seeking employment.

The January rate still remains 1 percentage point lower than the jobless rate from January 2016.

Job growth see-sawed in Connecticut in 2016, running strong in the first quarter, declining sharply in the second, staying modest in the third and finishing the fourth quarter slightly down and “ending the year essentially flat,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research. “January jobs were up sharply giving us a good start on the New Year.”

Private-sector employment rose by 5,900 positions in January while the government sector lost 200.

Six of Connecticut’s 10 major industry super-sectors added jobs in January, led by leisure and hospitality, which was up 3,100 positions. Gains also were recorded in: professional and business services; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; mining and construction; and other services.

The education and health services super-sector recorded the largest decline, losing 2,800 jobs. Declines also were recorded in information, manufacturing and government.

The Hartford labor market showed the most job growth regionally in January, adding 3,000 jobs. The Danbury and Norwich-New London-Westerly markets also gained while Waterbury was unchahgned.

New Haven was the only market to lose jobs, dropping 3,000.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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