The state, according to the Department of Labor, added 1,700 jobs in June and revised its job gains in May up from 5,800 to 6,000.
The unemployment rate in June was 6.7 percent, which is down two-tenths of a percent from where it was in May and was the lowest it has been since December 2008.
“Connecticut’s unemployment rate continues to decline for all the right reasons, such as broad industry job growth coupled with declining unemployment, and an expanding labor force,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “Summer seasonal hiring seems to have begun at expected rates.”
Only 500 of the 1,700 jobs added in June were in the private sector, a majority of 1,200 were in the government sector.
Peter Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the bulk of those government jobs are likely seasonal, but five straight months of job gains is good news.
He said the good news is only tempered by the fact that the state has recovered 61.7 percent of the jobs lost in the recession whereas the nation overall has added back more than 100 percent of the jobs lost during that same time period.
Now at 1,667,400 jobs for June, the state needs to reach the 1,713,000 level to start a true employment expansion.This will require an additional 45,600 jobs going forward. A total of 29,400 additional private sector positions are needed to have a fully recovered private sector, according to the Department of Labor.
Don Klepper-Smith, chief economist and research director for DataCore Partners LLC, equated watching the progress of the Connecticut labor market to “watching paint dry.”
“We’ve only gained about 1,400 jobs each month in recovery,” Klepper-Smith said in an analysis. “Therefore, current Connecticut job figures are still clearly underperforming when taken in the context of the year as a whole, up only 0.5 percent.”
But it should be noted that employment rarely grows in a linear fashion on a month-to-month basis, Klepper-Smith said.
A 0.5 percent gain is still a gain and the state is moving in a positive direction, but “the bad news is that growth is running half that of prior economic expansions,” he added.
Klepper-Smith is predicting that the state will add 12,000 to 15,000 new jobs in 2014 and another 10,000 to 12,000 in 2015.