(Updated 2:14 p.m.) The state of Connecticut added 2,200 jobs in April and unemployment dropped to 6.9 percent, according to the latest numbers from the Connecticut Labor Department.
“Both the establishment and household employment surveys are pointing to an improving labor market going forward for the state after extreme winter volatility,” Andy Condon, director of the Labor Department’s Office of Research, said. “The expanding labor force, growing private sector work hours, and diminishing unemployment are encouraging signs for Connecticut’s economy.”
Over the past three months the state has added 7,600 jobs.
“Even though the pace of Connecticut’s employment recovery is moderate, it seems to be on solid footing,” Condon said.
Since the start of the recession Connecticut has recovered 66,300 positions or about 55.7 percent of the 119,100 jobs lost between March 2008 and February 2010.
Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 50 months old and is averaging approximately 1,326 jobs per month overall since February 2010. The private sector has recovered at a faster pace and has now gotten 77,400 jobs of the 112,000 lost during the same time period.
In order to get to pre-recessionary levels, the state needs to add 52,800 jobs going forward.
Since last April, the number of unemployed in the state dropped by 17,302. April was the first time the unemployment rate has been below 7 percent since January 2009.
The industry supersectors that posted job gains in April include trade, transportation, and utilities, which added 800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality followed by adding 700 jobs. Education and health services also added 700 jobs.
Financial activities were also positive in April with both real estate and finance and insurance rising by 500 jobs. The combined construction and mining supersector, which had been fairly resilient this winter, added 400 jobs. The government supersector saw a small increase of 400 jobs in April, but has lost 3,900 jobs — the most of any supersector this year.
Government has lost 11,100 jobs since the overall employment recovery began in February 2010.
Professional and business services lost 600 jobs in April and manufacturing lost 200 jobs.
“The April labor report was moderately positive for Connecticut,” Peter Gioia, an economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, said
He noted that six of 10 major business sectors in the state added jobs as well as six of nine labor market areas around the state added jobs.
“Overall, we added 10,800 private sector jobs year over year,” added Gioia.
However, Gioia said, it should be noted that Connecticut is still behind in terms of economic growth as Massachusetts, New York, and the U.S. overall already achieved full recovery of jobs lost in the recession.
“Even with higher pace of job recovery that we’ve seen in the last year, it takes us 34 months to achieve full employment. That’s February of 2017,” Gioia said.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the numbers showed steady growth.
“We don’t normally comment on polls or job numbers,” Malloy said Thursday. “Having said that, this is good steady growth in jobs, which we’ve been experiencing throughout the time that I was governor.”
He said it’s been a goal of his to get the unemployment number below 7 percent for some time.
“To get it below seven percent has been a goal—it’s been a struggle—but it’s been a goal,” Malloy said after an unrelated event at the state Capitol.