Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.1 percent from December to January and is on its way to recovering the jobs it lost during the recession, a Department of Labor researcher said Friday.

“Job gains in January, along with a continuing decline in Connecticut’s unemployment rate, are good news,” Labor Department Research Director Andy Condon said. “Of equal or greater importance are the changes indicated in the 2012 labor market by our annual benchmark revision process.”

The revised data for 2012 shows Connecticut’s job market continued modest gains last year.

“While the job recovery rate remains too slow to drive down our unemployment rate to more acceptable levels, it is much more in line with national trends,” Condon said.

The state’s nonfarm job levels have now reached a post-recession recovery highpoint and have made considerably more progress in gaining back lost jobs from the “Great Recession” than originally estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012.

Connecticut has now recovered 52,600, or 43.4 percent, of the now 121,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs lost in the March 2008 – February 2010 employment recession. The previous nonfarm recessionary job loss was estimated at 117,500 but was revised slightly up 3,700 due to changing seasonal factors and the updated benchmark, a labor department press release says.

The private sector has regained 61,000 or 53.5 percent of the now 114,000 private jobs lost during the same recessionary downturn.