TRENTON – For the third consecutive month, New Jersey’s economy added jobs. However, unemployment remained at 9.3 percent in April as the overall workforce continued to grow with previously discouraged workers reentering the labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate increased from 8.8 to 9.0 percent during the month.
New Jersey has added 32,000 jobs since January. There was a gain of 14,000 in April, with the majority of the increase coming from the private sector. Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased in April to 3,860,900, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey.
“The private-sector job gain is extremely encouraging, with the fairly substantial increase showing that the recovery may be gaining a bit of momentum, and pickups in sectors such as manufacturing and retailing suggesting that a larger cross-section of the state’s economy is starting to benefit,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released March estimates were little changed, down by 300, to show an over-the-month (February-March) total nonfarm employment gain of 4,300 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 4,600 jobs.
In April, the job growth leader was the trade, transportation, and utilities industry supersector which added 8,300 jobs. All three components of the industry added workers: retail trade (+4,200), wholesale trade (+1,800) and transportation and warehousing (+2,300). Other supersectors with strong gains included manufacturing (+3,200), education and health services (+2,700), and leisure and hospitality (+2,700). Somewhat smaller gains were registered in the construction industry, which was up by 800.
Industries that recorded job loss included information (-1,700), financial activities (-1,100), professional and business services (-1,000), and other services (-500). The loss in information was mainly a result of contraction in the telecommunications component while the drop in financial activities occurred mostly in the real estate segment.
Public sector employment in April was higher by 600 as gains in local (+700) and federal (+100) government levels overshadowed a 200 drop in state employment. Local government includes counties, municipalities and local school boards.
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