Connecticut's strong summer of employment growth ended in September, with the state losing 7,600 jobs, ending a five-month run of gains.

September's losses represent the biggest monthly decline in five years. Private sector employers shed 6,700 positions, with heavy losses in the education and health services and trade, transportation, and utilities sectors.

The state Department of Labor did revise its August employment figures, saying Connecticut added 5,400 jobs against an initially reported gain of 3,200.

"This jobs report was very disappointing," said CBIA economist Pete Gioia.

"Cost factors locally and global economic softness seem to be affecting Connecticut more than other parts of the country."

Unemployment rate falls

The unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a point to 5.2%, the lowest mark since April 2008. Connecticut has the second highest unemployment rate of the New England states, with Rhode Island at 5.4%.

Connecticut has regained 83.6% of the 119,000 jobs lost during the 2008-2010 recession. The U.S. passed the 100% mark in May 2014 and has now regained 140% of recession losses.

DOL research director Andy Condon attributed some of September's losses to technical adjustments, saying the state has added 27,000 jobs over the last 12 months.

“September job losses were widespread, but annual job growth still remains relatively strong,” he said.

"Some of the apparent decline is due to technical seasonal adjustment issues and does not represent actual job loss. This is particularly true in the education-related sectors.”

Sectors

Seven of the state's industry sectors posted losses for the month, led by education and health services, which shed 3,500 positions.

Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 2,500 jobs, followed by construction and mining (-1,200); professional and business services (-1,100); government (-900); information (-600); and manufacturing (-300).

Leisure and hospitality gained 2,400 jobs and leads all sectors over the last 12 months with 7,500 new jobs.

Financial acitivities gained 100 jobs while the other services sector was unchanged.

Norwich-New London-Westerly employers added 400 jobs, while Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk was unchanged.

Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford lost 3,000 positions and New Haven shed 2,500 jobs.