NJ Jobs, Unemployment Rate Fell In September

TRENTON – Even though New Jersey shed 11,100 jobs in September, the state’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 9.2 percent, moving closer to the national unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, according to figures released today.

Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey decreased in September to a seasonally adjusted 3,860,100, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. Both the public (-5,300) and private (-5,800) sectors lost jobs. Despite the September reduction, private sector employment is up by 32,600 jobs since January of this year.

“While this second consecutive monthly drop in the unemployment rate is good news, the weakness in payroll employment figures is disappointing. The effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee may have held down our job count in September but, even so, the figures suggest that we have not been immune to the recent softness in national job formation,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released August estimates were shown to have been better than first reported. The estimate of total employment in August was revised higher, up by 4,600 jobs, to show an over-the-month (July-August) total nonfarm employment loss of 2,500 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month loss of 7,100 jobs, largely the result of the since concluded Verizon strike.

In September, five of ten private sector industry supersectors recorded job losses, four recorded gains and one was unchanged. Industries that recorded significant job loss included manufacturing (-4,100), leisure and hospitality (-3,700), and trade, transportation and utilities (-3,400). In manufacturing, job loss occurred in both the durable (-2,100) and nondurable (-2,000) categories while the drop in leisure and hospitality was concentrated in the accommodation and food services component. Employment fell in all three components of trade, transportation and utilities: wholesale trade (-2,000), retail trade (-1,200) and transportation, warehousing and utilities (-200). Smaller losses were recorded in other services (-2,600) and information (-1,700).

Industries that registered job gains in September included professional and business services (+3,900), education and health services (+2,700), financial activities (+2,100) and construction (+1,000). The increase in professional and business services was mainly due to job gains in the professional, scientific and technical services component (+3,700) while the advance in education and health services were seen in both the educational services (+1,300) and health care and social assistance (+1,400) categories. The gain in financial activities was split among the finance and insurance (+800) and real estate/rental/leasing (+1,300) components.

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