From the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
New Jersey’s labor market continued to contract in April as employment fell for the 15th consecutive month. The state’s unemployment rate moved slightly higher by 0.1 percentage point from March’s 8.3 percent to 8.4 percent in April, remaining below the U.S. rate of 8.9 percent.
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 14,400 jobs in April, to a total of 3,945,600. All of the loss occurred in the private sector (-15,600) as public sector employment rose by 1,200, entirely due to hiring by the federal government as it ramps up for the decennial census in 2010. Based on more complete reporting, the previously released March estimate was revised higher by 3,900 to reflect a February-to-March loss of 13,300.
“The serious impact of this global recession continues to be felt by New Jersey’s working families and their employers,” said New Jersey Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow. “Now more than ever, the services and programs of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development are crucial to workers who are most affected by the economic downturn and who require unemployment benefits assistance, training for new careers or reemployment assistance.”
Job loss in April was felt across most industries as declines were recorded in eight of ten supersectors. The largest contractions occurred in trade, transportation and utilities (-5,900 jobs), leisure and hospitality (-5,700), professional and business services (-2,300), manufacturing (-2,000), and construction (-1,700).
As the national recession has deepened, reduced spending by budget-conscious consumers has affected payrolls in trade, and leisure and hospitality in New Jersey and throughout the nation. In April, both retail (-1,600) and wholesale (-1,700) trade employment moved lower, while both components of leisure and hospitality — arts, entertainment and recreation (-3,500) and accommodations and food services (-2,200) —also recorded significant losses. Payroll contraction in professional and business services was concentrated in the professional, scientific and technical services (-4,600).
Modest gains were recorded in the information (+1,400) and education and health services (+900) supersectors.