Job Losses Continue

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TRENTON—New Jersey employers continued to trim payrolls in January as total employment fell by 9,100 jobs over the month.

The state’s 9.9 percent unemployment rate for January remains higher than the national jobless rate.

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In addition, the previously announced seasonally adjusted job loss from December 2008 to December 2009 of 90,100 was off by 26 percent and the revised figures reflect a true loss of 114,100 jobs.

New Jersey’s lost employment during the entire recession that started in December 2007 is 228,300 jobs, a decline of 5.6 percent of the Garden State workforce.

Private sector job loss in 2009 was widespread over every category including services, manufacturing and construction.

Despite employment reductions at the state and federal levels, public sector employment was higher by 7,000 over the December 2008 to December 2009 period due to hiring of 11,300 workers at the local government level in New Jersey.

In January 2010, employment in New Jersey contracted further with private sector payrolls receding by an estimated 9,100 while public sector employment was up by 600.

Over the month, workers increased the number of hours on the job but their average weekly earnings were lower by $3.59.

Elizabeth unemployment has tripled since 2006, as the city lost 5,295 jobs.
Unemployment in Elizabeth exceeded 16 percent last month—more than 50 percent higher than the state average—and things are getting worse for jobless or underemployed residents.

That’s almost three times the unemployment rate reported four years ago, when residents voted for the current city council members, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 11,000 for the first time since 2001, and the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii were released in North America. That’s the same year Democrats recaptured a majority in both houses of Congress, as voters delivered a stinging rebuke to the Bush administration.

A longer historical perspective shows that claims about job creation among local elected officials are bogus. In February 1990, when there were 51,985 employed people living in Elizabeth, the city’s unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. In February 1999, when there were 51,900 city residents with jobs, the unemployment rate stood at 7.9 percent. The most recent data shows 49,592 workers—a decline of 2,393 jobs.


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