From the Record:
A slight dip in the unemployment rate and the addition of 14,300 jobs in May, taking the increase to 30,000 jobs since the start of the year, suggest the state’s economic recovery is gaining momentum, economists and a large business group said Thursday.
The state has now added jobs for four consecutive months, with the only losses this year in January. The unemployment rate has fallen steadily over that period, according to figures released Thursday by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Still, the May unemployment figure of 8.6 percent, the lowest since March 2009 and down from 9.5 percent at the start of the year, remains a full percentage point above the national rate of 7.6 percent in May. And the state has regained only about half of the 257,000 jobs lost in the recession.
Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at accounting firm CohnReznick, said the strongest aspect of the report was that the average monthly gain over the past three months shows the state had added a solid 9,200 jobs each month. The calculation removes the month-to-month fluctuations of regular job figures.