Connecticut got a head start on the rest of the nation in feeling the effects of the most recent recession, according to a report from the state Department of Labor.

The state began losing jobs much earlier than originally thought, in July 2000, not May 2001, according to the report released Tuesday.

“Even though we started a little earlier … we really didn’t lose a lot of jobs,” Salvatore DiPillo, statistics supervisor for the Labor Department, said. “We lost a few jobs, and then it accelerated.”

Between July 2000 and January 2001, Connecticut lost only 3,400 jobs and was barely in decline, DiPillo said. In addition, many of the jobs lost early on were in manufacturing, continuing a decades-long decline in that industry. Wholesale and retail trade were also affected.

The report, with annual revisions based on more complete data, also shows that Connecticut’s job losses have been modestly higher than earlier estimates.

Initial tallies based on monthly workplace reports showed a drop of 22,300 jobs through Dec. 31, 2001. The Labor Department’s new estimates show a loss of 28,900 jobs.

Figures show employment rose by 4,300 jobs in January, bringing the net loss to 24,600 as of Jan. 31.

DiPillo said the rise in employment, the first since May of last year, is encouraging. Some of the gains were seasonal, he said. Employment also rose by 3,400 jobs last January, but DiPillo said the increase this year is sharper.

–Associated Press