From the Record:
New Jersey lost 6,800 jobs last month, increasing the state’s unemployment rate to 4.9 percent, slightly higher than the national average, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.
The May job losses were owed largely to a strike by Verizon workers, “which idled approximately 5,000 workers in the information sector,” the labor department said.
“Like the national economic recovery, the New Jersey economic recovery is experiencing a slight pause. This is only temporary, however, and we have every reason to expect growth throughout the remainder of 2016,” James Wooster, chief economist for the state Treasury Department, said in a statement.
The rise in the unemployment follows a recent trend after Governor Christie celebrated recovery from the Great Recession. Christie boasted of the state’s unemployment rate dropping to 4.3 percent, below the national average, and of New Jersey having more people employed than at any time in history.
But over the last two months New Jersey’s unemployment has slowly edged up as the national average has dropped. In May the national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.