Connecticut is off to a strong start in 2017 in terms of creating jobs as each of the first three months have seen an increase in jobs even as the unemployment rate inched up to 4.8 percent in March, according to numbers announced Thursday by the state’s Department of Labor.
The state gained 1,300 jobs in March and has created 1,600 jobs so far this year. Seasonally adjusted, the state now has 1,685,400 jobs.
The February labor situation was originally announced as a loss of 1,300, but that was revised to a gain of 100 jobs. The state had a 4.7 unemployment rate in February.
“With March’s 1,300 job increase, we have seen job growth in each month of the first quarter putting us ahead of last year’s pace,” Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research, said. “While the unemployment rate moved up to 4.8 percent, the labor force also grew, indicating workers are seeing opportunity in a low unemployment rate environment.”
The private sector added 1,200 jobs in March and has gained 5,900 jobs for the year. The government sector remained flat in March, but is down 4,300 jobs in 2017.
Six of the 10 industry sectors increased employment, led by the “other” category that gained 1,300 jobs, while leisure and hospitality added 1,100 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities led the state in losses with a 1,500 job decline in March.
The Hartford-East Hartford labor market area gained 3,000 jobs in March. The Norwich-New London-Westerly area gained 600 jobs and Danbury added 200 jobs. The Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area led the state in losses with 1,300 positions lost.
Average hourly earnings in Connecticut raised $1.24 to $31.34 in March.
Connecticut’s unemployment rate of 4.8 percent compared favorably to the 5.4 percent of March 2016, but lags behind the current U.S. rate of 4.5 percent.