NJ Adds 5,300 Jobs In August, But Unemployment Reaches 9.9%

TRENTON – New Jersey employers added 5,300 jobs in August, the tenth monthly gain in the past year. However, the state’s unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a percentage point to 9.9 percent.

New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 47,100 jobs over the past year (August 2011 – August 2012), according to the state Depart of Labor and Workforce Development. Since February 2010, the low point of private sector employment during the recession, private sector employment has increased by 86,200 jobs. Monthly revisions show that the previously reported July job loss was nearly 40 percent smaller than initially reported.

“As was the case for March, the initial report of a very marked drop in jobs in July proved to be overstated, and after the one-month interruption, job growth in New Jersey in August returned to the steady positive pace of the last year,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey advanced in August to a seasonally adjusted 3,909,600, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. Gains were registered in both the private (+1,800) and public (+3,500) sectors of the state’s economy.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released July estimates were revised higher, up by 4,700 jobs, to show an over-the-month (June-July) total nonfarm employment loss of 7,300 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month loss of 12,000 jobs.

In August, private sector job gains were reported in three of ten industry sectors, while losses were posted in six and one was unchanged. The largest over-the-month gain occurred in the professional and business services industry sector (+6,100), mainly a result of increased hiring at employment services firms in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment (+4,100). Gains also occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,900) with the majority of the gain in the retail trade (+3,400) category. Smaller gains were recorded in the information (+200) industry sector.

The industry sector with the largest loss was manufacturing, which contracted by 2,700 jobs, with losses registered in both the durable (-1,600) and nondurable (-1,100) goods categories. Other industries that recorded losses included financial activities (-1,400), education and health services (-1,400), and leisure and hospitality (-1,200). Employment in financial activities moved lower in both the finance and insurance (-500) and real estate, rental/leasing components. The drop in education and health services was entirely due to a decline in the educational services (-2,800) while the loss in leisure and hospitality was owing to a loss in the accommodation and food services (-3,100) component. Smaller losses occurred in the construction (-600) and other services (-100) industry sectors.

In August, public sector employment was higher by 3,500 primarily due to gains at the local (+2,700) and federal (+700) government levels.

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers increased 0.2 hour to 41.0 hours, average hourly earnings were lower by $0.07 to $19.56 and weekly earnings rose by $1.06 to $801.96. Compared to August of last year, the unadjusted workweek increased by 0.6 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.92, and weekly earnings were higher by $48.90.

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