With net gains of 1,100 jobs and 1,500 fewer unemployment claims, Connecticut’s jobless rate fell slightly in December to 4 percent, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday. Over the year, the state added 19,900 jobs, an increase of 1.2 percent.
”The December jobs report ends the year on a high note,” said Andy Condon, the DOL’s research director. “Preliminary numbers indicate that we saw job growth in almost every major industry sector in the state’s labor market.
“Unemployment fell five-tenths of a point since December 2017 to 4 percent. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ annual benchmark revisions to our jobs numbers will be completed in March and we have seen significant downward revisions in recent years.”
The U.S. jobless rate was 3.9 percent, up two-tenths of a point from November.
While across the public and private sectors, Connecticut gained 1,100 jobs in December it was the private sector that drove that growth. Private-sector employment in the state grew by 1,600 jobs in December, adding 23,500 over the year for a total 1,478,000. Government employment, which includes the state’s two tribal casinos, lost 500 jobs in December and 3,600 over the year, ending 2018 with 227,500 jobs.
Overall, Connecticut has recovered 111,300 of the 119,100 jobs lost in the Great Recession of 2008. The private sector has recovered all its lost jobs and has grown. Private sector employment is at 117.7 percent, compared to the start of the recession, which began in March 2008 and ended in February 2010.
Average weekly pay in Connecticut was $1,141.67, up $81.55 from a year ago. That represents a 7.7 percent increase, three times the rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.