After a disappointing 2016 with no job growth, Connecticut gained 7,900 jobs through the first quarter of 2017.
Employers added 1,300 jobs last month, with the state Department of Labor also revising February's numbers from a previously reported loss of 1,600 jobs to a gain of 100.
Unemployment ticked up one-tenth of a point to 4.8%, the highest of the New England states and three-tenths of a point above the national rate.
"We've seen job growth in each month so far this year, and we've gained 1,600 net new jobs year-over-year," said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.
Gioia noted that in percentage terms, Connecticut's 0.1% year-over-year job growth remains the slowest of the New England states. National job growth is at 1.5% over the last 12 months.
Connecticut has now recovered 77% of all jobs lost during the recession—sixth slowest in the country—and is the only state in the region yet to reach full recovery.
“Our job growth has improved, but it's still behind that of other states,” he said.
“We are moving in the right direction, and now it's time to pick up the pace to catch up with regional and national growth.”
He added that the jobs added in Connecticut last month included industries known for well-paying salaries.
We're moving in the right direction. Now it's time to catch up with regional and national growth.
Gioia said the state must keep this momentum going.
“It's important to continue to build and grow on these jobs gains,” Gioia said.
“A key way to do that is to pass a state budget that's sound, that's sustainable, and that has no new taxes to build business confidence and encourage investment in our state.”
Six of the state's 10 industry sectors saw job growth in March, led by other services, which gained 1,300 new positions.
Leisure and hospitality added 1,100 jobs, followed by manufacturing (800); information (400); financial activities (400); and government (100).
Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 1,500 jobs, the worst of the four losing sectors.
Education and health services shed 700 positions, while the professional and business services and construction and mining sectors each lost 300 jobs.
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford led all labor market areas in March, adding 3,000 jobs.
Norwich-New London-Westerly gained 600 positions, Danbury added 200 jobs, and Waterbury was unchanged from the previous month.
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk lost 1,300 jobs in March while New Haven lost 200.