From the WSJ:
New Jersey’s unemployment rate held steady at 9.2% in November and the state gained 10,000 jobs, largely in the private sector, the state labor department said Wednesday.
“It’s a very encouraging report,” said Joseph Seneca, a public policy and economics professor at Rutgers University. “One swallow does not a summer make, and one good employment month does not an economic recovery make. But it’s encouraging and the gains were broad-based across most of the private business sectors.”
The 9,300 private sector jobs added in November marked the largest monthly gain all year. Seneca said the data show New Jersey catching up with the national trend of private sector growth, though there is still a long way to go to fill in the hole left by the recession.
New Jersey lost 245,000 jobs from January 2008 to December 2009, Seneca said.
Patrick O’Keefe, a former deputy assistant labor secretary in the Reagan administration, said the bump in jobs is “not even statistically significant.”
“We have yet to achieve traction in New Jersey,” said O’Keefe, now director of economic research at J. H. Cohn in Roseland, N.J. “We simply do not see the type of increase in number of jobs or in hours that would suggest that there is an expansion going on in New Jersey’s economy.”
The number of people working or looking for work in New Jersey fell by 4,100, helping to keep the unemployment rate at 9.2%. Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 9.8% as more people entered the workforce, Seneca said.
New Jersey’s unemployment rate could increase in coming months as people restart their job search and rejoin the workforce on which the figure is based. That would signal a recovering job market, Seneca said.
From New Jersey Newsroom:
New Jersey’s struggling economy is showing little recovery.
In November, 16,800 New Jerseyans found work — much of it temporary — but another 15,600 lost their jobs, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. More than 321,000 New Jerseyans remain out of work.
Even as retailers prepared for the holiday shopping season, they laid-off 3,600 people. In the construction industry, 4,500 people found work, but another 4,500 were laid off.
The gain of 1,200 jobs had no affect on the state’s unemployment rate of 9.2 percent but Labor Department officials point out the unemployment rate was 10 percent last December.
The majority of the 16,800 new jobs were recorded at private sector businesses which added 9,300 jobs over the month. Seven of ten industry sectors posted job gains. New Jersey’s private sector employers have now added jobs in five of the past six months and have increased employment by 10,700 so far in 2010. Comparatively, 115,600 private sector jobs were lost over the first eleven months of 2009
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised higher by 1,400 jobs, resulting in an over-the-month (September-October) gain of 2,600 jobs.
In November, industries with significant job gains included construction, up 4,500 jobs, professional and business services, up 3,900, education and health services, 2,800, other services 2,200, and financial activities, 2,000. The gain in professional and business services was due to hiring in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment, 6,300, which saw increased employment at temporary help agencies. Smaller increases were recorded in manufacturing, 900, and information, 500.
Industries that experienced job loses were leisure and hospitality, down 4,500, trade, transportation and utilities, 2,900, and mining and logging, 100. In leisure and hospitality job losses were recorded in the arts, entertainment, and recreation, 2,600, and accommodation and in the food services, 1,900.
Government employment increased by 700 as local governments hired 1,100 people. But the federal government laid off 100 people and the state government cut 500 jobs.