HARTFORD, CT —Seven months into the pandemic, Connecticut has recovered 60% of the jobs it lost in March and April.

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor, Connecticut gained 17,000 jobs in September and its August numbers were revised upward to a job gain of 21,900.

“Even with overall job gains slower than in the previous four months, Connecticut has now recovered more than 60 percent of the 291,300 jobs lost during the March-April 2020 onset of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Patrick Flaherty, acting director of the Office of Research at the Labor Department, said. “Wholesale trade and retail trade are more than 90 percent and 70 percent recovered respectively.”

Private sector employment, which had largely recovered from the Great Recession before the pandemic hit, increased by 14,700 to 1,359,600 jobs over the month in September. That’s still down by 90,900 jobs since September 2019.

The official unemployment rate in Connecticut in September was estimated at 7.8%, down from 8.1% in August. The US jobless rate was 7.9%, down a half-percentage point from August.

However, Connecticut economists estimate that unemployment is closer to 12 to 13% which is down from the 14 to 15% in August.

The Connecticut unemployment rate continues to be underestimated due to challenges encountered in the collection of data, according to the Labor Department. In addition to a poor response rate in an already small sample size in Connecticut, key questions continue to be misinterpreted and misclassified.

Seven of the 10 major industry supersectors had employment gains in September, including leisure and hospitality, which was up 5.7% percent and professional and business services, which was up 2.1%. The government also added about 2,300 jobs in September.