Connecticut employers added 3,600 jobs last month, the eighth monthly gain this year as the state recovers from the worst recession in decades, the state Labor Department announced Thursday.
However, the unemployment rate of 6.4 percent in October was unchanged from September. That's higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.8 percent in October.
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Employment in the state has grown by 23,000 jobs over the year, with the jobs recovery now extending 56 months, an average of about 1,570 jobs a month since February 2010.
"Connecticut's job market continues to steadily add jobs this year at the best pace since the recovery began and that growth seems to be drawing more people into the labor force," said Andy Condon, the Labor Department's research director.
Retail trade was particularly strong in October, which Condon said may reflect an early buildup for the Christmas shopping season.
Education and health services led the jobs gains, followed by trade, transportation and utilities.
A loss of 1,300 government jobs was the largest number among sectors in which jobs disappeared.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who was re-elected two weeks ago following a bruising campaign that focused on the state's weak jobs growth, said the October results "are another sign of progress."
Even with the recent hiring trends, Connecticut has recovered 87,900 jobs, which is 74 percent of jobs lost during the March 2008 to February 2010 downturn.