Connecticut Unemployment Rate Now 7%, Lowest in 5 Years

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Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 percent to 7 percent in February, the lowest unemployment rate since January 2009, according to a release Thursday from the Connecticut Department of Labor.

The U.S. unemployment rate is 6.7 percent, and the difference between the two is likely illusory due to the margin of error in the state survey, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency that manages the data in this report.

The state’s employers added 800 jobs in February, after cutting 10,900 jobs in January.

“February’s job report seemed to confirm that weather was partly responsible for January’s sharp decline as we saw recovery in several of the industries that had stumbled,” said Andy Condon, director of the state labor department’s Office of Research.

The number of jobs in the state is up 10,300 compared to February 2013, a growth rate two and a half times slower than the nation’s job growth.

Over that period, durable goods manufacturing, the great majority of the state’s manufacturing sector, had the most job erosion, with 4,000 fewer jobs than a year ago. Government cutbacks were the second biggest drag on employment, with a net loss of 3,700 jobs. The economically important finance and insurance sector is also continuing to contract, and has 1,700 fewer jobs than it did a year ago.

The construction sector had the fastest growth, at 7 percent, and 3,800 additional positions. Hotels and restaurants added the largest number of jobs, at 6,200 over the year. Health care and social assistance jobs continue to grow, and those fields have 3,900 more jobs in February than a year earlier.

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