Connecticut employers add 1,200 jobs in April as job seekers seen returning to labor market



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HARTFORD, Connecticut — Employers in Connecticut added 1,200 jobs in April, the 10th monthly job gain in the past year, the Department of Labor said Tuesday.

The unemployment rate of 6.3 percent was down 0.1 percent from March and nearly a point higher than the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.4 percent.

"Continuing job growth combined with improving wages appears to be attracting more job seekers into the labor market." said Andy Condon, director of research at the Labor Department.

The number of unemployed residents in Connecticut has declined by 7,019, or 5.5 percent, to 120,089 over the year. And jobs have increased by 23,200 since April 2014, or 1,933 jobs a month, to nearly 1.7 million in the state.

Connecticut has recovered 93,200 jobs, or about 78 percent of nonfarm jobs lost during the March 2008-to-February 2010 employment recession. Nationally, more than all the jobs lost in the recession have been recovered.

Peter Gioia, an economist at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the state's largest business organization, said that although the state is adding jobs and pushing down the unemployment rate, "we still have a long way to go to get to full recovery and a pace of recovery that would have the average person feel as though we are doing really well."

The Department of Labor's April report included "mixed results across the state's major industry sectors" said Condon. The private sector lost 300 jobs in April, though private sector firms have increased employment by 21,300 jobs over the year.

The government sector gained 1,500 jobs in April, with local government accounting for most of the gains.

A spokesman for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the state's economy is making "steady progress that will pay dividends for Connecticut not just today, but for decades to come."

But Connecticut still has "a ways to go," said Don Klepper-Smith, an economic adviser to former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, before full job recovery occurs. At the current pace, he said, that's due in mid-2016.

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