From the APP:
New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell from 8.6 percent to 8.5 percent in August, but the state lost 1,500 jobs, led by a big drop in professional and business services, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said.
The unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since March 2009, the department reported. But the unemployment rate fell even as the state lost jobs because a greater number of workers — more than 12,000 from July to August — gave up looking for work and left the labor force.
In the past 12 months, the state has gained 60,300 jobs, the department reported.
Industries that gained included education and health services (+2,800), leisure and hospitality (+2,100), trade, transportation and utilities (+1,900), manufacturing (+600) and other services (+200). Job losses came in professional and business services (-5,900), financial services (-2,400), information (-700) and construction (-100).
Public sector employment was unchanged in August. Gains at the state (+600) and federal (+100) levels were counterbalanced by a drop in local government employment (-700).
“The state has had strong job gains over the last year and a major decline in unemployment with the rate dropping steadily. . Considering we’re looking at the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009 and we saw vigorous job growth last fall, we are hopeful we will see a repeat,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the state Treasury Department.