From the APP:
New Jersey’s economy lost 114,100 jobs in 2009 and another 9,100 jobs in January 2010, the state reported Wednesday, offering evidence that the recession has been the most severe since the early 1990s.
It has forced thousands of workers to reinvent themselves, brush up on their skills and prepare for new careers — even as they fall behind on their bills and try to keep their families together.
“Every bill is at least a month late,” Laura Novotny, 45, of Long Branch, said Wednesday after leaving a class at Brookdale Community College in Middletown, where she is studying respiratory therapy. “If somebody stole my identity, they would give it back to me.”
The latest report from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development was notable in that it included a full account of the labor market last year.
It found the state lost 228,300 jobs from the time the U.S. recession began in December 2007 through 2009, fast approaching the 258,600 jobs lost during the recession from 1989 to 1992. It also said the state’s unemployment rate in January dipped to 9.9 percent from 10 percent, even though the job losses continued.
“As bad as (we thought) the recession was, the final numbers indicate that it was worse,” Rutgers University economist Joseph J. Seneca said. “The long road back to recover the lost jobs of the recession is even longer than what we originally thought.”
The Labor Department’s report showed the private sector lost 121,100 jobs in 2009; the public sector added 7,000 jobs. In the private sector, only the education and health services sector and the leisure and hospitality sector added jobs.
The biggest losses: Trade, transportation and utilities lost 29,000 jobs; professional and business services lost 28,700 jobs; manufacturing lost 28,200 jobs; and construction lost 23,400 jobs.
Unemployed workers have been jobless on average for seven months, the longest stretch since researchers began tracking that figure in 1948. And it has worn them down, said Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University.