Seven years ago this month, with the country four months into a brutal recession, Connecticut's unemployment rate--which eventually hit 9.2%--stood at 5.7%.
As of June, according to the Department of Labor's monthly jobs report, the state's rate is now back at 5.7%, five-plus years after the recession ended in February 2010, as this long, slow economic recovery continues.
CBIA economist Pete Gioia said while unemployment is now the lowest since July 2008, that's still more than a percentage point higher than neighboring Massachusetts. The U.S. unemployment rate is 5.3%.
“Still higher than most of the other New England states,” said Gioia, “and shows just how stubborn our economic recovery is more than five years after the end of the recession.'
Of the New England states, only Rhode Island (5.9%) has a higher unemployment rate than Connecticut. Vermont's 3.6% unemployment is the lowest in the region.
The labor department reported that while Connecticut's unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a point in June, the state added just 600 jobs. The department also revised May's originally reported 6,400-job gain down to 5,900.
That means Connecticut's recovered just 82% of all jobs lost in the recession. Massachusetts, however, is at 150%, while the U.S. has recovered more than 130% of lost jobs.
Over the 64 months of the recovery, the state's averaged 1,530 new jobs per month. At this rate of growth, Connecticut won't recover all 119,000 jobs lost in the recession until September 2016.
Four of the state’s 10 major industry sectors posted employment gains in June. Construction and mining showed the greatest increase, adding 2,300 positions.
Finance, manufacturing, and professional and business services each added 700 new jobs for the month. The information sector was unchanged.
Government posted the largest losses of any sector, shedding 2,000 jobs, with the labor department saying the timing of school closings likely responsible for much of that shift.
Leisure and hospitality lost 900 jobs, followed by other services (-400); trade, transportation, and utilities (-400); and education and health services (-100).
Among the state's labor market areas, Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk gained 2,100 jobs while New Haven added 100 positions.
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford dropped 1,500 jobs in June and Norwich-New-London-Westerly lost 500.