N.J. jobless rate falls again


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New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 6.8 percent in May, the lowest since November 2008, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that showed, while employment was essentially unchanged in May, private sector job growth was far more significant in April than initially reported.

The Garden State’s private sector gained 7,000 jobs in April, rather than the 3,300 jobs preliminarily reported, according to BLS data that showed a dip of 200 private sector jobs in May. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased slightly in New Jersey in May, with job contraction occurring mainly in the public sector (-1,300), to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,934,600, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey.

“While not every month sees a gain, the job situation seems to be gradually improving with the noticeably upward revision in the April numbers and the survey of households showing pretty impressive gains. Nearly 30,000 more state residents were reported to be working in May than in March, and the total count of residents at work is the highest since the start of 2009. The two-month gain in the labor force is also pretty strong, nearly 15,000,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment in New Jersey, private sector employment has increased by 129,200 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released April estimates were revised higher, up by 3,700 jobs, all in the private sector. The BLS revisions show an over-the-month (March–April) total nonfarm employment gain of 8,200 jobs, instead of the over-the-month increase of 4,500 jobs indicated by preliminary estimates.

A three-month average of the preliminary employment data for New Jersey places the average unemployment rate at 7.0 percent, with total non-farm employment up by 2,100 (private, +2,300; public, -200).

In May, private sector job growth was posted in four of nine major industry sectors, while five recorded a loss. Industries that recorded employment gains included leisure and hospitality (+4,700), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,800), construction (+1,600) and manufacturing (+600). Job contraction occurred in professional and business services (-3,300), other services (-2,100), information (-1,300) and education and health services (-1,300).

Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 1,300, due to decreases at the local (-1,000) and state (-400) government levels.



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