Jobs concept on the chalkboard
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Connecticut’s Labor Department reported Thursday that employment was up by an estimated 6,500 jobs in July and the unemployment rate dropped to 3.7 percent.

“Connecticut’s unemployment rate is now at historic lows,” Labor Commissioner Dante Bartolomeo said. “This is continued good news for job seekers across every industry sector and every demographic.”

The job gains in July were broad-based with notable increases in manufacturing and construction. Construction jobs increased by 1,500 over the month.

“The warm weather last winter created a long construction season so that industry has now recovered 112% of the jobs lost during the pandemic,” Labor Department Director of Research Patrick Flaherty said. “Additionally, the healthcare sector, which was hit hard throughout the pandemic by illness, burnout, and death, is also regaining jobs. These are good indicators for Connecticut’s economy and a strong overall report.”

The private sector overall added 2,600 jobs in July, which means it’s 88.3% recovered from the pandemic. The government sector added 3,900 jobs.

“While state economists continue to be vigilant around the impact of energy costs and inflation, Connecticut is showing strong and steady month-over-month progress both in pandemic recovery and outside of the market anomalies caused by the pandemic,” Bartolomeo said.

Chris DiPentima, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said “July has historically been a strong month for job growth in the state and it’s critical that we sustain this momentum as the state continues its slow recovery from the pandemic.”

But Connecticut’s job growth is behind the national average.

“Our year-to-date job growth is 1.4%, which also trails the national rate of 2.2%, highlighting the need for a greater focus on addressing those obstacles to a faster recovery,” DiPentima said. “The worker shortage crisis remains one of our biggest growth obstacles, with the labor force declining last month by 2,100 people.”

Connecticut still has 105,000 job openings, which means that if every unemployed person was hired tomorrow, then there would still be 34,600 open positions.