Courtesy of the CT DOL

Connecticut’s private sector added 4,200 jobs in November and the unemployment rate continued its third straight month of decline to 7.6 percent.

There are now 15,173 fewer unemployed Connecticut residents than a year ago, officials at the Connecticut Department of Labor said Thursday.

“November’s strong job growth offset some declines in the third quarter returning us to the positive, though modest growth path we have seen throughout 2013,” Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research, said. “A third straight month of unemployment rate declines is certainly good news, though these declines are still occurring on a shrinking labor force.”

Connecticut added 15,600 jobs this year. That’s more than twice the 7,700 jobs it added during the first eleven months of 2012. In the first eleven months of 2011 the state added about 11,600 jobs and in 2010, the first year of employment recovery, it added 9,400 jobs.

“While a decrease in the unemployment rate and the addition of more than 4,000 private sector jobs in a month is clearly a step in the right direction, we still have much work to do,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday in a press release.

“We are making steady progress at growing our economy in a way that will create good-paying jobs with good benefits for middle class families,” Malloy said. “But if you haven’t been able to get one of these jobs, then you’re not feeling the impact of these changes.”

November’s job gains were not broad based across industries, labor officials said. Four industry supersectors posted gains, five exhibited declines, and one was unchanged.

The trade, transportation, and utility supersector saw the most growth with the addition of 4,700 jobs. The financial services sector had a rare gain of 1,000 jobs this month, but the leisure and hospitality supersector lost 1,700 jobs and manufacturers lost 1,200.

Government shed about 200 jobs and the private sector grew by 4,200 jobs in November, bringing the total job gain for the month to about 4,000 jobs.

That means Connecticut has now recovered about 63,500 positions, or 52.4 percent, of the 121,200 seasonally adjusted non-farm jobs that were lost in the state from March 2008 through February 2010 when the employment recovery began.

“Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 45 months old and is averaging approximately 1,411 jobs per month since February 2010,” Labor Department officials said in a press release. “The private sector has recovered somewhat faster and has now recouped 71,600 (62.8 percent, 1,591 per month) of the 114,000 private jobs that were lost during the same period.”

The state needs to add 57,700 jobs if it wants to reach what would be considered employment expansion levels.

Labor Department officials said initial unemployment claims for first-time Connecticut filers were down about 127 claims to 4,674.

However, since Congress failed to take action to extend the federal emergency unemployment benefits more than 20,000 Connecticut residents who have already exhausted their 26 weeks of unemployment will fall off the rolls on Dec. 28.

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation program passed in 2008 is set to expire at the end of December. When that happens, about 1.3 million people around the country will lose benefits, according to a report by the White House and the U.S. Labor Department.

According to information released by U.S. Rep. John Larson’s office, nearly 24,000 Connecticut residents will lose their unemployment benefits on Dec. 28.

“It was wrong for the House to be sent home before the expiration of this important benefit was addressed and crucial that we do whatever we can to help those who have lost their jobs, many through no fault of their own, recover,” Larson said. “I am prepared to work with both sides of the aisle towards a retroactive solution as soon as Congress returns.”

The highest number of people expected to lose their benefits are located in Hartford and New Haven County. According to Larson, 6,534 residents in Hartford County and 6,950 in New Haven County will lose their benefits three days after Christmas.