From the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
New Jersey’s labor market continued to tighten in March as employment fell for the 14th consecutive month. The state’s unemployment rate moved slightly higher to 8.3 percent in March, up by 0.1 percentage point from February’s 8.2 percent. New Jersey’s unemployment rate was below the U.S. rate of 8.5 percent in March.
According to preliminary estimates from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers, nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State decreased by 17,200 jobs in March, to a total of 3,956,100. All of the loss occurred in the private sector (-17,400) as public sector employment rose by 200. Based on more complete reporting, the previously released February estimate was revised higher by 5,200 to reflect a January-to-February loss of 14,500, rather than the 19,700 originally reported.
Job losses in March were recorded in eight of ten supersectors. The largest contractions occurred in leisure and hospitality (-5,900), professional and business services (-4,600), manufacturing (-3,700), and trade, transportation and utilities (-1,800).
The loss in leisure and hospitality was mainly in the accommodations and food services component as hotels and restaurants have felt the squeeze from reduced consumer spending during the recession. Casino hotels in Atlantic City have been especially hard hit by the economic slowdown leading to layoffs and other staff reductions.
All three categories of professional and business services were lower over the month with the largest losses in administrative support, waste management/remediation (-2,700) as companies trimmed payrolls of temporary support workers in an effort to cut costs. Professional, scientific and technical services (-1,300), and management of companies (-600) also saw losses.
Modest gains were recorded in the construction (+500) and education and health services (+400) supersectors.