From the Record:
The state added 3,300 private-sector jobs last month, while the public sector retrenched, losing 600 jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said employment growth in August for private-sector jobs was revised up by 1,500 to show an over-the-month employment gain of 3,700 jobs.
While the jobs gain was positive, one former state economist said the overall numbers presented “a dull report.”
“I would say this is pretty much a status quo report,” said Charles Steindel, who served as state economist under Governor Christie and now is now resident scholar at the Anisfield School of Business at Ramapo College of New Jersey.
“It’s really humdrum,” Steindel added. “The unemployment rate is about where it’s been basically…a little elevated, but nothing spectacular.”
He said the additional jobs eliminate losses sustained in the July report, bringing the state employment picture back to where it was in June.
James Wooster, chief economist for the state Department of Treasury, saw a more positive trend in the most recent report.
“In the 12-month period ending September, the Garden State’s private-sector employers added 54,200 jobs, Wooster said. “We’re encouraged by the positive employment trends and confident that as employment opportunities continue to grow, so, too, will people’s wages.”
But James Hughes, a professor and dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, noted that in the first nine months of the year, New Jersey has posted private-sector job gains totaling 12,500. If that rate holds steady, the state will end the year with the lowest pace of private-sector job growth since 2010.
“We still haven’t gotten real traction,” Hughes said.