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Job Growth Up, Unemployment Remains High

HARTFORD — Unemployment in the state remains steady at 9.1 percent, but there is a ray of light, according to one jobs report.

That’s because Connecticut added 5,300 jobs in October.

According to the state’s Labor Department said last month nonfarm employment in the state was 1.6 million.

The sectors with the biggest gains included trade, transportation and utilities (2,300 new jobs), professional and business services (1,800 jobs), and leisure and hospitality (1,500 jobs).

Sectors with job losses include, construction, information, manufacturing, and educational and health services.

But the news of last month’s job growth is something to celebrate, according to Gov. M. Jodi Rell.

“These are 5,300 reasons to be thankful,” said , Rell told Myrecordjournal.com. “Five of our 10 major industry sectors showed strong growth last month.”

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CT Unemployment Rate Up

WETHERSFIELD — The state lost 4,800 jobs in December, pushing the unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, according to an Associated Press report.

The state Department of Labor says Connecticut has lost 94,500 jobs since March 2008, although recent declines have been much slower than the pace earlier in 2009.

The December figure was an increase from 8.2 percent in November. One year earlier, it was 6.6 percent.

The biggest declines were reported in retail, leisure and hospitality jobs. The only sector to add jobs was educational and health services, which had 1,300 new positions.

The national unemployment rate in December was 10 percent.

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State Releases Jobless Rate, Extends Benefits

HARTFORD — The latest unemployment rate released this week by the Connecticut Department of Labor is 8.4 percent for September.

This is jump from the  unemployment rates for July and August, which were 7.8 percent and 8.1 percent, respectively. As a result, the average for these three consecutive months now stands at 8.1 percent.

That is why Gov. Jodi Rell announced today that Connecticut’s unemployment rate has qualified the state to provide seven additional weeks of benefits to unemployed individuals.

Under federal guidelines, individuals can begin filing their claims beginning Nov. 15. The federal extension called High Extended Benefits (HEB) is provided when a state’s total unemployment rate averages eight percent or higher over three consecutive months.

According to Governor Rell, the HEB is in addition to the 26 weeks of regular state benefits, the 33 weeks of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC), and the 13 weeks of Extended Benefits (EB) currently being provided to the state’s jobless residents. With the addition of the seven weeks of HEB, claimants can potentially receive 79 weeks of unemployment benefits.

The HEB will be available to those claimants still searching for work and who have exhausted all 72 weeks of the current state and federal benefits. According to the Labor Department, claimants now receiving the 13 weeks of Extended Benefits will automatically receive the additional seven weeks. For those who have exhausted their 72 weeks of benefits, the agency will send letters to all potentially eligible individuals to notify them of the additional HEB weeks.

“The Labor Department is updating its records to allow claimants to seamlessly transition from the 13 weeks of Extended Benefits to the seven additional weeks of High Extended Benefits,” noted Governor Rell. “Although we are fortunate that Connecticut’s current unemployment rate is well below the national rate of 9.8 percent, finding a job in these challenging times is extremely difficult. This newest extension is a welcome relief to the thousands of citizens who want to work, are diligently seeking employment, but have had little success.”

Additional information about the seven weeks of HEB, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found on the Labor Department’s Web site at www.ct.gov/dol.

Individuals needing information about other possible assistance can contact United Way’s Infoline program. This is a free referral service, with information about community services, basic needs assistance, crisis intervention and much more. 2-1-1 is toll-free from anywhere in Connecticut and it operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The service, which offers multilingual operators and TTY access, can be contacted by dialing 2-1-1.


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