From the WSJ:
The Greater New York job market showed continued but modest growth in November, state reports showed, with particularly good news for New Jersey, which had been adding jobs at a tepid pace.
New Jersey gained 14,100 private-sector jobs and 2,800 government jobs. The state’s unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage points to 7.8%, the largest monthly drop on record, according to a report released Thursday by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The data were a vindication for Gov. Chris Christie. Earlier this week, the financial rating service Moody’s had downgraded the outlook on the state’s $32 billion in general-obligation bonds from stable to negative. In October, the state had lost 1,400 private-sector jobs.
Moody’s cited New Jersey’s “sluggish economic recovery,” among the challenges the state faces. Mr. Christie on Thursday called Moody’s analysis “half-baked,” as it didn’t take into account New Jersey’s latest job numbers. “These are all signs of a growing, robust economy and job market in this state,” Mr. Christie said during a news conference in Trenton.
Joseph J. Seneca, an economics professor at Rutgers University, called the November report an “early holiday present.”
“Over the last several months, New Jersey had been lagging the national economy in terms of jobs growth,” he said. “But the November numbers reassure us that New Jersey is participating in the job growth the nation is experiencing.”
Mr. Seneca also noted, however, that the decline in the number of people unemployed didn’t translate into more people employed, because they likely left the labor force.