NJ Unemployment Dips To 9.7% Despite Loss Of 11,700 Jobs

TRENTON – Even though New Jersey lost 11,700 jobs in October, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 9.7 percent.

Private sector employment decreased by 9,400 jobs in October, while the public sector lost 2,300 jobs. From October 2011 to October 2012, the private sector added 25,600 jobs.

While New Jersey’s 9.7 percent unemployment rate is higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, the Garden State has a higher labor participation rate at 65.9 percent than the nation as a whole at 63.8 percent.

“The large increase in household employment and the labor force reverses some of the recent drops in resident employment and labor force participation. While there were divergent moves across industries in their job counts, we remain above the national numbers in our labor force participation rate and the fraction of our population that is employed,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released September estimates were revised lower, down by 1,500 jobs, to show an over-the-month (August – September) total nonfarm employment loss of 2,700 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month loss of 1,200 jobs.

In October, private sector job gains were posted in three of ten industry sectors; six recorded a loss while one was unchanged. Industries that registered larger gains included construction (+4,500), professional and business services (+1,200), and other services (+1,100). Larger losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (-9,700), trade, transportation and utilities (-2,700), and education and health services (-2,100). Sectors with smaller decreases included financial activities (-700), information (-600) and manufacturing (-400).

In October, public sector employment was lower by 2,300 due entirely to contracting payrolls at the state (-1,800) and local (-700) government levels.

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