From the Record:
New Jersey had its 10th consecutive month of job growth in April, with the addition of 4,300 jobs and a revision of the March figures.
The state added 300 private-sector jobs and 4,000 government jobs last month, according to the monthly employment report by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The jobless rate remained at 6.5 percent, above the national rate of 5.4 percent and the highest figure since July 2014.
The report also revised the March figures, changing the initially reported loss of 6,400 jobs to a gain of 1,900.
“There is improvement here,” said Patrick O’Keefe, an economist with New York accounting firm CohnReznick, which has an office in Roseland. “The state is inching forward, and that is certainly better than slipping backward, but when all is said and done the jobs recovery in New Jersey remains inadequate.”
He noted that the employment increase was in large part driven by government jobs. Economists focus mostly on private-sector job creation because those jobs generate revenue for the state; government jobs spend it.
O’Keefe said that while the nation has about 3 percent more jobs now than before the recession, New Jersey has only about 1.8 percent more.
The state has now added 20,400 jobs since the start of the year, an average of just over 5,000 a month, which would put New Jersey on track to add a healthy 60,000 jobs this year. The state’s post-recession recovery still lags, however, getting back only 65 percent of the 260,000 jobs lost as a result of the recession, while the nation recovered them all by last summer.