From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.1 percent last month as private businesses added 4,000 jobs, state officials announced today.
It was the third month in a row that the New Jersey unemployment rate dropped.
“Since January, seven of the nine monthly changes have been positive,” said Rutgers economics professor Joseph Seneca. “The increase since that time, 38,600 private sector jobs, puts the state on the best pace for private sector job growth since the late 1990s.”
Seneca said it was a good sign that in the October unemployment report, the unemployment rate fell and the workforce expanded.
That differed from previous months such as September when the unemployment rate dropped despite lost jobs, perhaps because some people stopped looking for work and weren’t counted for the rate.
Even September’s mixed report got a little rosier this week as the state announced that an estimated loss of 11,000 jobs that month had been revised downward to only 5,000 jobs lost after more information was gathered from employers.
“The pace is not gangbusters, but it’s positive,” said Seneca. “In October, the country added 104,000 private sector jobs. New Jersey added 4,000 of those. It’s participating in the national expansion.”
A continuing negative in New Jersey’s job market was the loss of 1,500 public sector jobs, and Seneca said that trend is likely to continue as the state and local governments grapple with fiscal constraints. (I beg to differ, the fact that we can show gains while reducing the size of goverment is a huge positive – jb)
From the APP:
New Jersey’s economy pumped 4,000 jobs into the private sector in October, even as public employment shrunk, the state reported Thursday.
A survey found the state’s unemployment rate fell to 9.1 percent from 9.2 percent in September, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
“This is an encouraging report,” said Rutgers University economist Joseph Seneca. “It affirms that private-sector growth is continuing in New Jersey.”
It comes as New Jersey’s labor market has tried to gain traction after a devastating recession cost the state 269,000 jobs.
In October, private-sector employment increased by 4,000 jobs, while the public sector, which is still contracting, dropped 1,500 jobs, the state said, for a net gain of 2,500 jobs.
“The rebound in the job count in October, along with the drop in the unemployment rate, suggests that the state’s economy continues to move forward,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury, in a statement. “The pace of improvement is much less than we all desire, but we are going the right way.”