Unemployment Falls to Lowest Level in Nearly 5 Years

Connecticut lost 3,900 jobs in December, most of them (3,800) in the private sector, reversing gains the state experienced in November.

"Declines came in areas such as professional services, manufacturing, and a small decline in government jobs," says Joe Brennan, senior vice president of public policy for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association.

"We did see growth in financial services," he adds, noting a recent pattern of job recovery in one of the hardest-hit sectors of the state's post-recession economy.

Also on the positive side, Connecticut's unemployment rate declined for the fourth straight month.

"If you look at 2013 as a whole," says Brennan, "Connecticut gained about 11,500 jobs, getting us back to about 49% of the jobs lost during the last recession."

Connecticut's unemployment rate now stands at 7.4%, the lowest it has been since February 2009, but still higher than the national average of 6.7%.