NJ Added 8,100 Jobs In March, Unemployment Rate At 9%

TRENTON — New Jersey employers added 8,100 jobs in March, according to data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private sector employers added 10,400 jobs, but that was offset by a loss of 2,300 public sector jobs. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent, down 0.3 percentage points from February, but is still significantly higher than the 7.6 percent national rate.

“Once again, jobs and unemployment are moving in the right directions, reflecting the growing strength in the state’s economy. Our labor force participation rate and employment-population rate remain well above the national averages, and higher than a year ago,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

Preliminary monthly estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey advanced in March, up by 8,100 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted 3,947,500, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey. The gain was entirely due to hiring in the private sector of the state’s economy, as public sector employment in March dropped by 2,300 jobs. Declines were recorded at all three levels of government: federal (-800), state (-800), and local (-700).

In March, private sector job gains were posted in six of the state’s nine major industry sectors. Industries with substantial job gains included: leisure and hospitality (+5,500), education and health services (+4,000), and manufacturing (+2,900). Additional advances were recorded in construction (+900), other services (+400), financial activities (+200). Job contraction occurred in information (-2,000), professional and business services (-1,100), and trade, transportation and utilities (-500).

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released February estimates were revised lower, down by 3,500 jobs, to show an over-the-month (January – February) total nonfarm employment gain of 9,400 jobs. Preliminary estimates had initially indicated an over-the-month gain of 12,900 jobs.

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers increased 0.5 hours to 40.3 hours, average hourly earnings were higher by $0.11 to $19.06 and weekly earnings rose by $13.91 to $768.12. Compared to March of last year, the unadjusted workweek decreased by 0.9 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.21, and weekly earnings were lower by $25.80.

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