- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Employers in Connecticut added 5,200 jobs in November, helping push the state’s labor force past a milestone as it struggles to regain jobs lost during the Great Recession.

Connecticut’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent, just above the U.S. rate of 5 percent.

The state says Connecticut’s private sector has gained back 113,400 jobs - more than all the lost private sector jobs during the recession. The private sector has added jobs at a faster clip than the labor force as a whole.

Overall, Connecticut has recovered 105,700 positions, or about 89 percent of 119,000 nonfarm jobs lost during the March 2008-to-February 2010 employment downturn.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called the latest jobs report another sign of progress, pointing to businesses that he said are showing strong growth this year.

“We know that numbers can and may fluctuate from month to month, but what is undoubtedly clear is that we are making significant progress,” he said.

Pete Gioia, an economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said the November report shows a “welcomed recovery” following “two very disappointing reports” in October and September.

Economist Don Klepper-Smith, once an adviser to former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, said that unless the economy falls into another recession, Connecticut is “on track for full job recovery” next year.

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