NJ Unemployment Climbs To 9.6% Despite Job Gains

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TRENTON – New Jersey’s unemployment rate jumped to 9.6 percent in June according to data released by the state Labor Department today. The 0.4 percent climb since May is the sharpest monthly increase since the 2009 recession.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is now 1.4 percent higher than the national rate of 8.2 percent, the widest gap in decades.

The unemployment rate growth comes despite the addition of new 9,900 jobs in June. Combined with gains recorded in May, employment in the Garden state has increased by nearly 25,000 jobs over the past two months.

“In recent months, New Jersey employers have been adding jobs at rates not seen in years, and at a faster pace than the nation as a whole. If the job count keeps rising at this pace, unemployment will inevitably come down,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

The rise in the unemployment rate was due, in part, to an influx of new entrants and re-entrants to the state’s labor market. Those previously out of the labor force are only counted as unemployed as they join the labor force and begin to search for work.

The leisure and hospitality industry added 6,100 jobs, boosted by greater than expected seasonal hiring, and led the overall job increase. Other industries that registered larger gains included education and health services (+2,500), professional and business services (+2,000), and financial activities (+1,200).

The largest over-the-month loss occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (-2,500), mainly due to cutbacks in the wholesale trade subsector (-2,300). Losses also occurred in manufacturing (-2,400) and construction (-500).

In June, public sector employment was higher by 2,300 due to gains in local government (+3,100) as payrolls were lower at both the state (-500) and federal (-300) government levels.

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