From the Asbury Park Press:
New Jersey’s economy added 10,500 jobs in April, and its unemployment rate remained stable at 9.8 percent, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported Wednesday.
The report was a sign that the economy is in a recovery, albeit a choppy one. A wide range of private-sector companies accounted for the bulk of the hiring.
“Employers in New Jersey — at least some segments — have finally gained confidence in the sustainability of the recovery,” said Patrick J. O’Keefe, an economist and partner at J.H. Cohn, a Roseland-based accounting firm.
The New Jersey labor market was decimated during the national recession that began in 2007 and cost the state almost 230,000 jobs. But the report released Wednesday showed that hiring in April was at its strongest pace in two years.
The huge job gain came a month after the state lost 4,900 jobs, showing the recovery remains tenuous. But economists said it is headed in the right direction. New Jersey lost 100 private-sector jobs during the first four months of the year, compared with a loss of 71,700 private-sector jobs during the first four months of 2009, Rutgers University economist James W. Hughes said.
“At least we’re looking at a recovery now and the recession is in the rearview mirror,” Hughes said. “However, we’re still probably a long way from gangbusters.”
Sectors with the biggest gains: Professional and business services added 3,700 jobs, manufacturing added 2,500 jobs and financial activities added 1,100 jobs. The public sector added 2,400 jobs, most of which came from hiring by the U.S. Census Bureau.