From the Asbury Park Press:
New Jersey created more jobs in 2006 than state officials initially reported, but the revised figure of 33,900 positions announced Wednesday was still considered by economists to be disappointing.
The state Department of Labor and Workforce Development initially reported that 20,500 jobs were created in New Jersey last year. The department revises the employment figure every year after taking a closer look at information from employers’ payroll taxes.
Despite the revision, economists said the job figures were unimpressive. The nation, for example, added more than 2.2 million jobs last year. Because New Jersey has 3 percent of the nation’s labor force, it should have created more than 67,000 jobs.
Looking at it another way, the nation’s job market grew by 1.7 percent. New Jersey’s job market grew by 0.8 percent, Rutgers University economist James W. Hughes said.
However, the job picture might be brightening.
New Jersey’s job market began 2007 stronger than the rest of the country. The state Wednesday said it added 4,600 jobs — the result of a gain of 6,400 private-sector jobs and the loss of 1,800 public-sector jobs. The state unemployment rate fell to 4.2 percent in January from 4.3 percent in December.
From the Daily Record:
The state’s unemployment rate fell in January to 4.2 percent, the fifth consecutive month it has declined.
The rate is about half a percentage point lower than the national rate, 4.6 percent, and the New Jersey rate of last January, 4.8 percent.
Employment in New Jersey reached a record 4.09 million in January, up 4,600, according to preliminary estimates by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The growth came from 6,400 added jobs in the private sector, offset by a loss of 1,800 public jobs, the department found.
In addition, revised employment figures for 2006 revealed that New Jersey gained more jobs than originally thought. The new figure is 33,900, up 65 percent from the initial number.
The strongest jobs growth from December to January took place in leisure and hospitality, up 1.5 percent to 339,900, and construction, up 1.5 percent to 174,400.
Over the past year, the largest growth was seen in professional and business services, up 12.3 percent to 608,300.
The biggest loss over the past year was in manufacturing, down 9 percent to 321,300.