Connecticut's unemployment rate was unchanged for April, remaining the highest in New England despite the addition of 3,500 new jobs.

At 5.7%, unemployment in the state is just one-tenth of a point lower than where it was a year ago and has inched upward after falling to a post-recession low of 5.4% in December.

The unemployment rates in Connecticut and Massachusetts are heading in different directions this year.

That's in stark contrast to other New England states, including neighboring Massachusetts, where unemployment has fallen seven-tenths of a point since December to 4.2%.

New Hampshire has the region's lowest unemployment, 2.6%, followed by Vermont (3.3%), Maine (3.4%), Massachusetts, and Rhode Island (5.4%).

Nationally, unemployment was at 5% last month, unchanged from March.

CBIA economist Pete Gioia said moderate job growth among a mix of industry sectors in April was a step in the right direction.

Unemployment Issues

"It isn't a spectacular report but it does show decent progress," he said.

"The report showed some solid progress in job creation but we still have issues, particularly with the rate of unemployment.

"The mix of jobs added is also better than we’ve seen."

The Connecticut Department of Labor's monthly jobs report also revised the March employment numbers, saying the state added 1,000 positions that month instead of the previously reported 300.

Connecticut has added 20,100 new jobs over the last 12 months, a growth rate of 1.2%.

Connecticut has regained 80% of the 119,100 jobs lost during the recession.
In the six-plus years since the end of the recession, Connecticut has regained 80% of the 119,100 jobs lost during the economic downturn.

The U.S. jobs recovery average is now over 160%, while Massachusetts has recovered a staggering 255%.

Industry Sectors

Construction and mining led the state's 10 main industry sectors in April, gaining 2,400 positions after losing 1,100 jobs the previous month.

Professional and business services gained 1,100 jobs, followed by education and health services (800); financial activities (700); trade, transportation, and utilities (700); information (300); other services (200); manufacturing (200); and government (100).

Leisure and hospitality was the only losing sector in April, shedding 3,000 jobs after recording seven consecutive months of gains.

The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford labor market added 2,500 jobs in April, while New Haven gained 100 positions.

Norwich-New London-Westerly lost 500 jobs and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk was lower by 200.

"This report should be a modest confidence builder for the state," Gioia said.

"We still have a lot of work to do but this is a step forward."