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Connecticut unemployment rate falls to 5.4 percent

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HARTFORD — The Connecticut Department of Labor says the state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.4 percent.

The department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday the state added 4,100 jobs in July. Officials say the state has grown 30,600 nonfarm jobs over the last year and has now recovered 97 percent of the private sector jobs lost during the recession.

The unemployment rate dropped from 5.7 percent a month earlier. The state’s jobless rate had been a full percentage point higher than the national rate a year ago but is now one-tenth of a point higher.

Local economist Ron Van Winkle says the growth has been impressive but he questions the quality of the jobs created. Retail, administration, and support are among the fastest growing sectors. There’s also been a lot of growth in part time jobs.