NJ Adds 10,500 Jobs In April; Unemployment Remains At 9.8 Percent

TRENTON – Employment in New Jersey advanced in April, fueled by widespread hiring in the private sector. The state’s unemployment rate was unchanged in April at 9.8 percent and was below the national rate (9.9%) for the first time since November of last year.

According to preliminary estimates, total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 10,500 jobs in April to 3,858,500. The gain represents the largest monthly increase in over two years (January 2008, +5,500). Private sector employment advanced by 8,100 jobs while public sector payrolls increased by 2,400.

Based on more complete reporting, previously released March estimates were revised downward by 1,800 jobs to a total of 3,848,000, reflecting an over-the-month (February to March) loss of 4,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month loss of 3,100.

In April, job gains were realized in nearly all private sector industries. Sizeable increases occurred in the professional and business services (+3,700 jobs), manufacturing (+2,500), financial activities (+1,100) and leisure and hospitality (+1,100) supersectors. The gain in professional and business services was due to hiring in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment which added 5,000 jobs.

In manufacturing, small gains were scattered among companies in both the durable (+1,800) and nondurable (+700) components. Increased employment in the finance and insurance (+1,000) component accounted for the majority of the gain in financial activities, while the advance in leisure and hospitality was due to hiring in the accommodations and food services segment. Smaller gains were recorded in education and health services (+800), information (+600), trade transportation and utilities (+600), and mining and logging (+100). The only industry to register a decrease was construction, which saw employment fall by 2,400.

Public-sector employment was higher by 2,400 over the month boosted by hiring of temporary workers at the federal level (+2,100) to perform canvassing activities for Census 2010.

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers decreased by  -0.1 to 40.2 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.03 to $18.91 and weekly earnings were down by -$0.68 to $760.18. Compared with April of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by -0.4 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.30 and weekly earnings were higher by $4.61.

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