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Connecticut unemployment rate falls to 6.6 percent, lowest level since December 2008


WETHERSFIELD, Connecticut — Connecticut added jobs for a sixth straight month in July, dropping its unemployment rate to 6.6 percent, the state Department of Labor said Friday.

The monthly economic report showed 2,400 non-farm jobs were added to the economy. The string of six consecutive months of job growth is the longest since the economic recovery began in early 2010.

"This growth, along with continued declines in the number of unemployed, may be an indication that the moderate employment growth we have seen this year will be sustainable for some time," said Andy Condon, the agency's research director.

The unemployment rate dipped a tenth of a percent from June and was down from 7.9 percent a year ago. It's the lowest unemployment rate recorded in Connecticut since December 2008 but still is higher than the U.S. rate of 6.2 percent.

The Department of Labor said the job growth occurred in the private sector, which gained 3,100 positions, while government jobs declined by 700.

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is running for re-election, took some credit for the numbers.

"Since taking office, we have made long-overdue investments that will make sure Connecticut's economy is positioned for long-term growth, and we're starting to see results," he said in a statement.

Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. said the numbers actually show the state has had one of the worst recoveries in the nation.

"The numbers don't lie," he said. "While the nation as a whole has recovered 100 percent of the jobs lost in the recession, our state has recovered less than two-thirds."

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