STATE – New Jersey lost 11,800 jobs in July, according to data released today by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.6 percent, but that could be attributed in part due to the labor force declining by nearly 10,000 people.
Administration officials tried to point to positives. “July’s job loss should be put into perspective, occurring after a gain of nearly 20,000 private jobs from April to June,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “The growth in employment over the last year is still quite evident, with private jobs up more than 2 percent over the last 12 months.”
Private sector job losses were heaviest in the leisure and hospitality sector, which shrank by 3,100 jobs, and in professional and business services, which lost 2,300 jobs. Construction lost 2,000 jobs; education and health services shed 1,900 jobs, as did “other services.”
Trade, transportation and utilities provided one of the few bright spots in the report, posting a gain of 3,700 jobs. Financial activities (+1,200) manufacturing (+300) and information (+100) showed net increases.
Public sector employment decreased by 5,800 jobs, with more than half of the losses occurring at the local level.
In July, the U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs as the national unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent.
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