Jobless Rate Hits 32 Year Peak

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STATE—New Jersey’s unemployment rate reached its highest level in 32 years in June, but Corzine administration officials are trying to put a positive spin on the grim economic situation.

“Job losses in New Jersey were less severe in June than in any month since the national recession began,” said state Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow, hoping to paint a happy face on a new report that shows the unemployment rate rose from 8.8 percent to 9.2 percent, the highest level since 1977.

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Although Socolow says preliminary estimates show New Jersey lost 2,100 jobs in June, officials admitted that 8,000 jobs were lost in May instead of 6,200 as first reported.

The number of public sector workers increased from 588,900 in 2000 to 652,000 today – a gain of 63,100 employed at taxpayer expense although 125,909 fewer people have private sector jobs.

The real number of out of work New Jerseyans could be as high as 479,965, with 420,787 jobless people who want to work and a decline of 59,178 in the civilian labor force compared with one year ago.

The report said 185,087 more New Jerseyans are unemployed today than compared with one year ago.


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