STATE — New Jersey employment contracted marginally in June while the state’s unemployment rate continued to trend lower from the recessionary high reached in December 2009. The state’s unemployment rate edged down by 0.1 percentage point in June to 9.6 percent, just above the national rate of 9.5 percent.
According to preliminary estimates, total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey was lower by 1,900 jobs in June to 3,866,800. Private sector employment however, was up by 5,300 jobs. Private sector employers in New Jersey have added jobs in three of the past five months. The net job loss over the month was due to a decrease in public sector jobholding (-7,200) the majority of decline is attributed to the federal government’s release of the first wave of temporary workers hired for the 2010 Census.
Based on more complete reporting, the previously released May estimates show a small upward revision of 1,400 in nonfarm employment to a total of 3,868,700. The over-the-month (April-May) gain was revised to +9,000 jobs from the preliminary estimate of a gain of +7,600.
In June, six of ten private sector industry supersectors recorded job gains while three registered a loss; one was unchanged. Notable gains occurred in professional and business services (+4,400), leisure and hospitality (+2,800), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,600) and education and health services (+1,300). The advance in professional and business services was driven by hiring in the administrative support, waste management/remediation (+3,300) component which includes temporary employment services. Generally, hiring at temporary employment services can be seen as an indication that businesses may soon be ready to begin permanent hiring in the near future. In leisure and hospitality, the job gain was mainly in the accommodation and food services segment (+2,000). Smaller gains were seen in construction (+800) and mining and logging (+100).
Industry supersectors with job contractions included, other services (-4,600), manufacturing (-1,800), and financial activities (-300). The loss in other services was led by a decline at companies in the religious, grantmaking, civil and professional organizations category. In manufacturing, losses occurred in both the durable (-1,400) and non durable (-400) components.
Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 7,200, led by a 4,300 drop in federal employment due to the separation of temporary workers hired for 2010 Census activities. Federal employment levels will continue to decrease over the next few months as all temporary workers hired for Census 2010 are eventually let go. Lower employment was also recorded at the local government level (-2,800). Local government includes county, municipal and local government education employees.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers was unchanged at 40.4 hours. Average hourly earnings increased by $0.10 to $18.96 and weekly earnings were up by $4.04 to $765.98. Compared with June of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by -1.0 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.41 and weekly earnings were lower by -$1.99.
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