Connecticut added a modest 600 jobs in December, finishing 2011 with 9,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, the lowest point since May 2009.
CBIA economist Pete Gioia called the numbers "a bit disappointing," particularly with the national economy adding 200,000 jobs last month.
"Nonetheless, we're seeing signs of a recovery, albeit a slow one," he said. "The 9,000 added jobs year-over-year is the best we've seen in months."
The year could have finished on an even brighter note, but the State Department of Labor revised its November numbers, reporting 1,400 lost jobs against a previously reported gain of 100 jobs.
“After a disappointing performance in the third quarter of 2011, it appears that Connecticut’s labor market has returned to a modest pace towards recovery,” said Andy Condon, the agency's research director.
"Our declining unemployment rate is particularly good news. However, forecasts for job growth in 2012 remain cautious and uncertain with most analysts predicting levels much like what we saw this past year.”
Holiday shopping boosted the December jobs number, as the trade, transportation and utilities sector led all major sectors by adding 2,500 jobs. Retail had the largest gain -- 1,900 jobs.
Also posting gains was the transportation sector (+800), leisure and hospitality (+800), education (500), information (+100). Overall, private sector industries added 700 positions in December.
Unfortunately, manufacturing shed 1,500 jobs.