NJ Unemployment Rate Drops To 8.4%, But State Lost 5,500 Jobs In October

TRENTON – New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent since employment figures were last released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which also issued data showing New Jersey gained 3,600 since August. The overall U.S. unemployment rate stands at 7.3 percent.

Because of the shutdown of the federal government in October, the release of final employment data by the BLS for August and September were delayed, as were preliminary estimates for October. Today’s report includes the three month period from August through October. Now available, the federal data reveal that New Jersey did not lose jobs in August, as initially reported, but actually gained 1,400 positions. Total non-farm employment increased again in September by 7,700 jobs before contracting in October by 5,500.

“Looking at the year-over-year gains, it’s clear New Jersey’s economy is moving onto the right track. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point in nearly four years, and the year-over-year growth in job numbers as of October is well ahead of where New Jersey was at the same point last year, when the state ultimately had the best job growth in over a decade,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.

The August gains were largely in the private sector (+1,200) and the September gains were in the public sector (+8,300) as the unemployment rate moved lower that month by 0.1 percentage point to 8.4 percent from an August rate of 8.5 percent. Preliminary estimates for October indicate total nonfarm wage and salary employment reached a seasonally adjusted 3,963,800, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey, as jobholding slipped in October in both the public (-4,100) and private sectors (-1,400).


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