HARTFORD, CT — For the second month in a row, Connecticut lost payroll jobs, according to preliminary numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

In August, the state lost 3,900 jobs, which follows a revised job loss of 1,100 jobs in July.

“August’s decline of 3,900 payroll jobs leaves the three-month average job gain in Connecticut nearly flat,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “Nevertheless, due to a decline in the state’s labor force, the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent.”

Private sector employment in August dropped by 3,700 jobs and the government lost 200 jobs last month.

That means Connecticut’s private sector, which had finally recovered 102 percent of the jobs lost in the Great Recession, has dropped back down to 96.7 percent.

Overall, Connecticut has now recover 78.1 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession. It means Connecticut is 26,100 jobs away from attaining full job recovery. The government supersector has lost a total of 22,400 positions since the recession began in March 2008.

Datacore Partners Economist Don Klepper-Smith said it seems the job gains in May and June were not sustainable.

“We’ve now seen back-to-back job losses totaling 5,600 jobs and the labor markets are now headed in the wrong direction due to a host of factors,” Klepper-Smith said.

He said the aggregate data is showing that the Connecticut economy “is now moving sideways more than anything else, while the risk of recession over the next 12 months is tangible and rising.”

The reason he said is because Connecticut is “still dealing with the combination of persistent budget problems at the state and local level, waning business confidence, multiple downgrades in the state’s bond rating, a potential bankruptcy within the City of Hartford, and greater levels of overall economic uncertainty, which do not bode well for Connecticut’s job market over the near-term.”

Pete Gioia, an economist with the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the numbers are “a major retreat from the positive momentum we saw earlier this year.”

He said it’s “vital that policymakers focus on job creation when developing the next state budget.”

The General Assembly is expected to vote on a budget today.

Connecticut and Wisconsin are the last two states to pass a 2018 budget. Connecticut has been operating under an executive order since July 1.