Connecticut added 1,700 jobs in July, but remains one of only two New England states yet to recover all jobs lost during the recession, the state’s largest business association said today.

The state has recovered just 83% of jobs lost during the March 2008-February 2010 economic downturn.

Neighboring Massachusetts has recovered 295% of lost jobs, while the U.S. average is 172%.

“While it’s good news that we’re still adding jobs, our recovery’s lack of strength when compared to a neighboring state like Massachusetts is important,” said CBIA Economist Pete Gioia.

Gioia noted Massachusetts has created almost three jobs for every job lost while Connecticut has yet to create one job for every job lost during the economic downturn.

“It really points to a sharp need for Connecticut to become more competitive regionally as well as nationally," he said.

“To do that, the state must have policies in place that encourage business investment and create job opportunities.”

Maine is the only other state in New England that has not recovered 100% of jobs lost.

Leisure and hospitality (1,700) and trade, transportation, and utilities (1,700) led all sectors in July. Manufacturing added 300.

Industry supersectors that lost jobs included government (-1,300) and education and health services (-900).

Financial activities, an industry supersector known for its high wages, lost 300 jobs.

The state’s unemployment dropped one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7%.

CBIA is Connecticut’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state. For more information, please email or call Meaghan MacDonald (860.244.1957).