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Unemployment Rate Dips To Lowest Level In Connecticut In 4 Years

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut’s unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent for the first time in four years even as the number of jobs in the state declined, the Connecticut Department of Labor announced.

The jobless rate fell by a tenth of a percentage point in October and again in September, falling to 7.9 percent from 8.1 percent in August. But Connecticut still lags behind the nation, which has a 7.3 percent unemployment rate.

Connecticut combined statistics for September and October because of the federal government shutdown this fall.

“The September and October reports are sending mixed signals about Connecticut’s labor markets,” said Andy Condon, Director of the Office of Research. “The weeks leading up to the federal government shutdown, evidently, led to increased economic uncertainty and hiring indecision across the state. On a positive note, the state's unemployment rate has declined for two months in a row primarily driven by a reduced number of unemployed individuals.”

A total of 4,100 nonfarm jobs were lost in September, while the private sector added 1,000 positions for October.

The jobless rate is down from 8.4 percent in October 2012 with an increase of 10,000 nonfarm jobs in that time period.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate has not been below 8.0 percent since April 2009, when it was at 7.9 percent, and is down from 9.4 percent, which it hit during August-December 2010. This is the lowest unemployment rate for the state since the employment recovery began in February 2010.

Connecticut’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm job growth year-to-date through October 2013 has reached 11,000 jobs, or 1,100 per month. This is slightly better than the 9,600 jobs pace through October of 2012, or 960 per month. In 2011, the first 10 months brought 10,400 jobs, or 1,040 per month. In 2010, the year the employment recovery originated, the year-to-date October gain was also 10,400. Job growth during the first 10 months of each year of the recovery has been modest but consistent in the state.

Connecticut has now recovered 58,900 positions, or 48.6 percent of the 121,200 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs that were lost in the state in the March 2008 to February 2010 employment recession.

Connecticut’s jobs recovery is now 44 months old and is averaging approximately 1,339 jobs per month since February 2010.

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