- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The unemployment rate in Connecticut has ticked up slightly, even as the state added 5,700 jobs in January.

The Connecticut Department of Labor said Friday that the January rate increased by one-tenth of a percentage point, to 4.5 percent. The department noted that the rate is still a full percentage point lower than a year ago.

Connecticut’s rate is also lower than the national rate of 4.8 percent in January.

Andy Condon, director of the department’s Office of Research, said job growth in the first quarter of 2016 was fairly strong, followed by a sharp decline in the second quarter, a modest third quarter and a slight decrease in the fourth quarter, ending the year essentially flat.

The department revised the estimated number of jobs lost over 2016 from 2,000 to 200. Condon said the increase in jobs in January is a good start to 2017.

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association told The Day (https://bit.ly/2naF7WQ) that Connecticut has now recovered 75 percent of the jobs that were lost during the recession. The association, a trade group that tracks the state’s economy, says that’s the slowest growth in New England.

It called the state’s 2016 numbers “hugely disappointing” because other New England states added jobs last year, but said the January figures “offer hope.”

Economist Don Klepper-Smith, of DataCore Partners, also told the newspaper that the January numbers represented “a bounce back of sorts” from the labor market sluggishness of 2016.

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