From the Star Ledger:
The state’s jobless rate inched up a notch in June as thousands of job seekers flooded the market and companies took a breather in hiring, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Employers added just 4,600 workers to their payrolls in June, or about a quarter of what they added in May. Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rose slightly to 8.7 percent, the first time it has increased in a year.
State officials said the entry of new job seekers, including recent college graduates, helped bump up the jobless rate, which is a measure of unemployed people looking for work, from 8.6 percent in May. About 8,700 people entered the labor force in June, according to Labor Department data.
But while hiring in June proved tepid, May’s statistics ended up much better than originally thought, a fact that state officials were quick to tout. Based on more complete data from employers, the state added 17,300 workers in May, or 3,000 more than previously estimated, the Labor Department said.
“Putting together May and June, New Jersey created more than 21,000 new jobs over the last two months, continuing its recent impressive performance,” Charles Steindel, chief economist for the state Department of Treasury, said in a statement accompanying the job numbers.