Connecticut lost 1,200 jobs in July but its unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.4 percent, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Analysts also downgraded June’s projected 6,100-job gain to 5,300 new new positions.

But the number of unemployed residents seeking work — another factor in calculating the jobless rate — dropped by 1,100 in June, helping to keep the rate stable.

“July’s decline of 1,200 jobs does not materially affect the growth we have seen to date this year,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research. “Our three-month average job growth remains strongly positive. On a percentage basis, construction and manufacturing remain the fastest growing sectors in the state’s labor market.” 

Connecticut now has gained 16,600 jobs over the past year.

“The job job loss in July was not unexpected given the unsustainable gains we saw in May and June, which were very much outside the norm, together with soft economic fundamentals,” said Don Klepper-Smith, an economist with DataCore Partners in Durham. “Since the recovery began, we’ve been averaging about 1,000 new jobs per month and the last two months saw average gains five times that amount.”

“We take three steps forward, and then one step back,” Connecticut Business and Industry Association economist Peter Gioia said. “There’s no consistency or stability month-to-month with our jobs numbers and that’s what we really need to see for long-term growth in the economy.”

Private-sector employment fell by 1,000 jobs in July while the government sector — which includes federal, state and municipal employment as well as workers at tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut — fell by 200 positions.

Four of Connecticut’s 10 major industry super-sectors gained employment in July, led by leisure and hospitality, which added 1,600 net new jobs. Gains also were recorded in: education and health services; construction; and information.

The trade, transportation and utilities super-sector experienced the largest drop last month, losing 1,300 jobs. Losses also were recorded in: government; professional and business services; financial activities; manufacturing; and other services.

Connecticut still has not regained all of the 119,100 jobs lost in the last recession, which stretched from March 2008 through February 2010. The state has added back 102,600 jobs, or 86.1 percent.

The private sector has fully recovered with 122,500 jobs added, a recovery rate of 109.7 percent.

The New Haven Labor Market was the state’s only regional market to add jobs in July up 800 new positions.

The Hartford market recorded the largest decline with 1,300 jobs, and losses also were recorded in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Waterbury, Danbury, and Norwich-New London-Westerly, R.I. markets.

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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