Connecticut employers added 4,000 new positions in March, as the state's job market rebounded from a dismal February.

The state Department of Labor reported gains across most industries, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.4%, still nine-tenths of a point higher than the United States rate.

That gap illustrates the continuing slow pace of the state's economic recovery.

With March's strong performance, Connecticut has regained about 78% of the 119,000 jobs lost in the recession that ended five years ago last month.

The labor agency did revise its February numbers, reporting a loss of 2,900 jobs against its initial estimate of 3,700 lost positions.

Moderate recovery

“The labor situation had good news,” said CBIA economist Peter Gioia.

“The job market is proceeding at a moderate pace of recovery but we’re still behind some in the region and the rest of the country overall.”

Massachusetts' employment recovery rate is 150%, while the average across the United States is 132%.

Gioia noted that eight of the 10 major industry sectors added jobs except construction (-800) and financial activities (-400).


Trade, transportation, and utilities led all industry sectors in March, adding 1,500 positions, with retail responsible for 1,300 of those new positions.

Leisure and hospitality offset much of its February losses, with 1,000 new jobs, followed by professional and business services, which gained 900 positions.

Other services added 500 jobs, followed by information (400), manufacturing (400), government (300), and education and health services (200).

Education and health services performed the best of all sectors over the last 12 months, adding 7,400 jobs.

Manufacturing (-600) and information (-100) were the only sectors with year-over-year employment losses.

The Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford labor market area gained 400 positions in March, followed by New Haven (300), and Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk (200).

Norwich-New London-Westerly shed 800 jobs in March and has lost 1,100 positions in the last 12 months.