Connecticut gained 300 jobs, unemployment rate down to 8.8 percent

Despite losses in leading sectors, manufacturing and finance, Connecticut gained 300 jobs in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent, according to a monthly report.

The state Labor Department said the financial sector shed 600 jobs and manufacturing 1,200 last month and compared to a year ago and the sectors are down 3,000 and 2,800 jobs respectively for the year. Only the government sector has seen bigger losses over the year than finance, dropping 3,200 jobs, the report said.

Health care continues to be the jobs engine in the state, up 7,200 jobs for the year and 1,500 for the month.

The unemployment rate slipped to 8.8 percent from 9 percent. The reduction came about from a combination of more people dropping out of the workforce and a decrease in the unemployed. According to the report, there were 11,100 fewer people in the workforce in November than in October and the number of people who said they were unemployed dropped by 4,600.

Wages were up in the month, but lower by $6.97 a week from a year ago, the report said.

Rob Varnon