NJ Unemployment Rate Climbs To 9.8% As State Lost 12K Jobs In July

TRENTON – New Jersey’s economy lost 12,000 jobs in July, according to preliminary estimates released today by the state Department of Labor. The Garden State’s unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 9.8 percent, 1.5 percent higher than the nations’s 8.3 percent unemployment rate.

Job loss was registered in both the private (-7,100) and public (-4,900) sectors of the state’s economy. Previously released June estimates were also revised lower, down by 2,600 jobs, to show an over-the-month (May – June) total nonfarm employment gain of 7,300 jobs.

“The national economy has been sluggish and, realistically, we can’t be exempt. said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “Still, New Jersey’s labor force participation rate and the percentage of our population who are employed remain above the national averages. Considering we have seen job growth in 9 out of the past 11 months, we anticipate that job growth should resume and start to put some downward pressure on unemployment.”

Over the year, July 2011 – July 2012, total nonfarm employment in New Jersey increased by 40,200 jobs.

In July, job loss was recorded in five of ten private industry sectors; four recorded gains while one was unchanged. The industry sector with the largest drop was professional and business services, which fell by 3,900 jobs, due to cutbacks in the administrative support/waste management and remediation segment (-4,600). Other industries that registered larger losses included manufacturing (-3,000) and construction (-2,700). The decline in manufacturing was due to contraction in the nondurable goods component (-3,500) while the loss in construction is reflective of a longer-term trend that has seen employment in this sector fall by 8,200 over the past year. Smaller losses occurred in financial activities (-400) and information (-300).

The largest over-the-month gain occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+1,600), mainly due to advances in the transportation and warehousing (+1,900) and wholesale trade (+800) subsectors. Smaller gains occurred in other services (+600), education and health services (+500), and leisure and hospitality (+500).

In July, public sector employment was down by 4,900 due to the trimming of payrolls at all three levels of government: federal (-300), state (-2,400) and local (-2,200).

“The increase in New Jersey’s unemployment rate from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent is further evidence that Gov. Christie’s ‘New Jersey Comeback’ is a myth,” said state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex.) “While Christie could argue last month that the number of actual jobs was up, that’s not the case today.”

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