State unemployment rate down last month to 7-year low

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WETHERSFIELD — Connecticut labor officials say employers added 3,200 jobs in August, the fourth straight monthly jobs increase. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.3 percent, from 5.4 percent in July.

The unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2008. The U.S. jobless rate was 5.1 percent in August.

Andy Condon, the Labor Department's research director, said earlier school openings and the late Labor Day seemed to influence employment, earnings and hours worked.

Connecticut has recovered 104,900 jobs, or 88.2 percent of jobs lost between March 2008 and February 2010. The U.S. economy has regained more jobs than were lost.

Economist Peter Gioia of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association says the state has a way to go for full jobs recovery.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said "the needle is moving in the right direction."