April 20, 2017

CT adds jobs in March, unemployment rate ticks up

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
Connecticut's unemployment rate ticked up slightly in March.

Connecticut gained 1,300 net jobs in March, while the jobless rate ticked up for the third time this year, to 4.8 percent, the latest state labor survey shows.

Year over year, nonagricultural employment in the state grew by 1,600 jobs, or a tenth of a percent, according to payroll data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

State labor officials also revised upward February's jobs numbers, saying the state actually added 100 jobs rather than lost 1,600.

"We've seen job growth in each month so far this year," Connecticut Business & Industry Association Economist Pete Gioia said in a statement.

Gioia noted that in percentage terms, job growth remains the slowest of the New England states. National job growth is at 1.5% over the last 12 months.

And although the state unemployment rate continued its slow ascent, the 4.8 percent rate recorded in March was six tenths of a point lower than it was a year ago, CTDOL said.

The state's nonfarm employment stood at 1,685,400 in March, while the number of Connecticut residents who were unemployed increased by 2,368, seasonally adjusted. The number employed grew by 8,061 in March, CTDOL said.

Andy Condon, CT DOL's director of the Office of Research, said that even though the jobless rate rose again slightly, the labor force also grew, which he said shows "workers are seeing opportunity in a low unemployment rate environment."

Private sector employment grew by 1,200, or a tenth of 1 percent, to 1,451,700 jobs in March, and is up by 5,900 jobs compared to the year-ago period.

Five industry sectors showed increased employment: other services (2 percent); leisure and hospitality (0.7 percent); manufacturing (0.5 percent); information (1.3 percent); and financial services (0.3 percent).

Registering losses were: trade, transportation and utilities (-0.5 percent); private education and health services (-0.2 percent); construction and mining (-0.5 percent) and professional and business services (-0.1 percent).

Government jobs remained flat in March.

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