NJ Unemployment Reaches 33-Year High

TRENTON—New Jersey’s jobs situation remains bleak, with the state’s unemployment rate climbing to a 33-year high of 10.1 percent in December, according to statistics released today.

Employers trimmed 2,300 last month as the state’s unemployment rate rose above the national rate (10.0 percent) for the first time since October 2006.


Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State fell to 3,910,400 in December. Over the month, employment was lower in both the private (-1,100 jobs) and public (-1,200) sectors of the New Jersey economy. Based on more complete reporting, previously released estimates of November employment (-9,400) were revised higher by 1,100 resulting in an October-to-November loss of 8,300 jobs.

In December, five of ten private sector industry sectors suffered job losses while four recorded gains, one was unchanged. The largest over-the-month private sector job losses were recorded in manufacturing (-5,400 jobs), construction (-2,400) and financial activities (-1,700). The large drop in manufacturing was felt in both the durable (-2,100) and nondurable goods (-3,300) components. Smaller over-the-month losses were evident in education and health services (-500) and leisure and hospitality (-200).

Sizeable December employment gains occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities (+3,900), professional and business services (+3,500) and information (+1,400) industry sectors. The gain in trade, transportation, and utilities was due to hiring in the wholesale trade (+3,000) and transportation and warehousing (+3,600) segments while the advance in professional and business services was boosted by gains in professional, scientific and technical services (+1,800) and administrative support/waste management/remediation services (+2,100).

Public sector employment was down by 1,200 over the month led by contractions at the federal (-900) and state (-300) government levels. Local government employment was unchanged.

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