NJ Unemployment Climbs To 9.8 Percent

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TRENTON – The state’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in September, equal to the national rate, while overall employment declined after two consecutive months of private sector growth.

According to preliminary estimates from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers, nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State fell by 12,700 jobs in September, to a total of 3,917,700. Private sector employment was lower by 12,000 while public sector employment fell by 700.

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Based on more complete reporting, the previously released August estimate was revised lower by 100 for a revised July-to-August gain of 700 jobs. The previously reported unemployment rate for August 2009 was revised to 9.6 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the preliminary estimate.

“The latest national and state employment estimates show that New Jersey was not immune from the national trend,” said New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow.

“We had two consecutive months of private sector job growth, and as the deepest global recession in many decades eases, we expect to return to that trend.  Since the beginning of the global recession in December 2007, New Jersey has lost a much smaller share of private sector jobs than has the nation (-4.7% NJ vs. -6.3% US).  While overall employment has declined by 5.2 percent across the nation (-7.2 million jobs), New Jersey has lost a smaller share of total employment, as jobholding has fallen 4.1 percent in the Garden State (-168,500 jobs),” Socolow said.

Over the month, seven of ten private industry sectors realized declines, two recorded gains, and one was unchanged. The largest over-the-month losses occurred in construction (-4,000 jobs), other services (-4,000), professional and business services (-2,600), trade, transportation and utilities (-2,200) and education and health services (-1,000). Smaller losses were recorded in information (-300) and manufacturing (-100). The only industry sectors to add jobs over the month were financial activities (+1,200) and leisure and hospitality (+1,000).

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers increased by 0.1 hours to 41.5 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.05 to $18.25 and weekly earnings were up by $3.90 to $757.38. Compared with September of last year, the unadjusted workweek was unchanged, average hourly earnings increased by $0.26 and weekly earnings were higher by $10.79.


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