New Jersey Unemployment Remains At 9.5%

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TRENTON – New Jersey’s private sector employers added 3,900 jobs in July — the sixth consecutive month of private sector job gains – but it wasn’t enough to reduce the state’s 9.5 percent unemployment rate.

Previously reported estimates for June were revised higher by 5,900 private sector jobs. Over the six-month period (January – July), private sector employment has risen by 47,800 jobs or an average of nearly 8,000 jobs per month. Since February 2010, which was the low point of private sector employment since the recession began, there has been a gain of 58,200 private sector jobs in New Jersey.

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“New Jersey continues to show steady, ongoing private sector job growth, despite the recent turmoil in the markets and increased uncertainty about the economy. Today’s numbers, including the June revisions, mark a significant milestone: for the first time since the spring of 2008 the state is reporting year-over-year increases in overall jobs, with the increased gains in private employment now outstripping the smaller reductions in government,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

“Another positive is the pattern of revisions. We have been seeing recently that, with fuller information, the job counts for earlier months have been typically marked up. That’s the sort of thing that’s the hallmark of an economic expansion. Although we are not out of the woods, if markets settle down, we expect the expansion to continue,” Steindel added.

Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey moved modestly higher in July, up by 1,800, to a seasonally adjusted 3,872,900, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. Hiring by private employers (+3,900) was somewhat offset by cutbacks in the public sector which saw employment decrease by 2,100.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released June estimates were revised significantly higher, up by 7,100, to show an over-the-month (May-June) total nonfarm employment gain of 8,800 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 1,700 jobs.

In July, private sector job gains were posted in four of ten industry sectors; small losses were scattered across four and two were unchanged. Industries that recorded gains included construction (+2,200), manufacturing (+2,100), education and health services (+1,800) and information (+200). The job gain in construction represents the largest monthly gain in over five years and was mainly due to hiring by specialty trade contractors. Construction employment is up by 3,500 over the year. Manufacturing payrolls were higher in both the durable (+600) and nondurable (+1,500) components while the gain in education and health services was due to a 3,000 increase in the health care segment.

Industries that registered job loss included leisure and hospitality (-1,000), professional and business services (-900), financial activities (-400), and trade, transportation and utilities (-100). The contraction in leisure and hospitality was registered in the arts, entertainment and recreation segment which fell by 1,500 jobs. In professional and business services, the drop was a result of lower employment in the professional, scientific and technical services category.

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers decreased by 0.7 hours to 40.4 hours, average hourly earnings fell by $0.06 to $18.83 and weekly earnings were down by $15.65 to $760.73. Compared to July of last year, the unadjusted workweek remained unchanged, average hourly earnings increased by $0.02 and weekly earnings were higher by $0.81.


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