State unemployment rate shows slight improvement

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Connecticut’s unemployment rate in July was 5.7 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the revised June rate of 5.8 percent but higher than July 2015’s 5.4 percent, according to the state Department of Labor (DOL).

The number of unemployed workers in the state declined by 1.7 percent in July, or 1,904 residents, with the state adding 1,700 jobs for the month.

Connecticut has added 13,000 positions since the calendar year began, the DOL said. Private-sector employment was up by 3,000 positions in July, and has grown by 20,100 during the first seven months of 2016.

“There is uniformly good news in our employment surveys last month,” said Andy Condon, director of the DOL’s Office of Research. “Payroll jobs grew. Our labor force grew and we saw our unemployment rate decline for the first time since August of last year.”

Five of the state’s 10 major industry super-sectors experienced gains in July, with leisure and hospitality up 1.1 percent to 154,600 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities up 0.6 percent to 298,200 positions; professional and business services increasing 0.5 percent to 219,400; manufacturing up 0.2 percent to 159,900; and other services up 0.6 percent to 67,500.

Declining were government, down 0.5 percent to 239,300 positions; private education and health services, off 0.3 percent to 328,400 jobs; construction and mining, down 1.0 percent to 58,600; the information sector, off 1.5 percent to 33,500; and financial services, down 0.2 percent to 133,600.

Connecticut has recovered 83 percent, or 98,800, of the 119,100 jobs lost in the last recession. Private-sector employment has regained 96 percent, or 107,200, of the 111,700 jobs lost.

On a market-by-market basis, Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford added 1,900 positions, followed by Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, up 700, and New Haven, up 200. Norwich-New London-Westerly was unchanged.

Average hourly earnings in the private sector in July was $30.15, up $1.35 from July 2015.

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