Employment grew in July by 11,500 jobs even as the unemployment rate ticked up a notch to 8.1 percent, according to the latest numbers published by the Connecticut Department of Labor.
The July jobs gains mark the fifth straight monthly job increase and the sixth monthly gain in 2013. But Connecticut’s unemployment rate inched up to 8.1 percent in July. That’s still down by five-tenths of a percentage point from a year ago.
June’s unemployment rate was adjusted down to 8 percent. The Labor Department had originally reported it was 8.1 percent based on preliminary numbers.
“Excluding May 2010, when jobs were boosted by temporary Census employment, this month’s nonfarm job gain is the best so far during this recovery which began in February 2010,” Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research, said. “Improvements were seen across most of Connecticut’s industry sectors. However, our sample-based monthly employment estimates can be volatile, and we advise looking at trends over longer periods of time. Even on this basis we are seeing substantial improvement over last year.”
If job growth continues, Condon said he expects to see improvements in the state’s unemployment rate in the near future.
The sizeable monthly gain in jobs was described as “statistically significant.”
It means that Connecticut has now added 23,100 nonfarm jobs since July 2012 — a new recovery highpoint in the state. Private sector hiring in July also was robust at 7,300 jobs. Private companies have now added 17,900 jobs over the year.
However, unemployment in July increased by 900 over the month to 149,600. The state’s unemployment rate overall has declined by 11,900 since July 2012.
Some of the heightened claims activity in June was related to the extended school year that pushed some of the typical summer school vacation claim filings further into July, according to the Labor Department.
Connecticut’s unemployment rate is still higher than the national average at 7.4 percent.