From the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
Trenton, June 18, 2008 – For the third consecutive month, employment in New Jersey as virtually unchanged in May, while the state’s unemployment rate rose by 0.5 percentage point to
5.4 percent. This is the largest unrevised increase in the unemployment rate since April 2006. Despite the increase, the state’s unemployment rate is still below the rate for the United States as a whole, which rose by 0.5 percent to 5.5 percent in May, the largest increase since 1986.
Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State moved higher by just 100 in May, to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,071,700, based on preliminary estimates from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers. The previously released April estimates were revised lower by 1,100 to 4,071,600 after more complete reporting. In addition, April’s unemployment rate of 5.0 percent was revised slightly lower to 4.9 percent.
Private sector jobholding increased by 500 over the month but was offset by a decrease in government employment, which contracted by 400. Over the first five months of 2008, New Jersey’s total nonfarm employment has declined by 10,900 (-0.26%), while over the same period the nation has lost 324,000 jobs (-0.23%).
“Clearly, the national labor market is struggling, and New Jersey is consistent with that trend,” said Commissioner David J. Socolow. “As in prior downturns like this one, the federal government should step in to provide extended Unemployment Insurance benefits, so that job seekers will have additional support while they look for work in this uncertain economy.”