From the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development:
New Jersey’s employment was virtually unchanged in March as employers added 1,000 workers to their payrolls. New Jersey’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.8 percent. The United States rate increased to 5.1 percent in March from 4.8 percent in February.
Over the first quarter of 2008, employment in New Jersey has contracted by 9,700 jobs. Nationally, employment declined by 232,000 over the same period.
“We continue to see evidence of a national economic slowdown,” said Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow. “New Jersey is following the national trend.”
Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State edged higher by 1,000 in March, to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,072,900, based on preliminary estimates from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s monthly survey of employers. The previously released February estimates were revised lower by 400 to 4,071,900 after more complete reporting.
The monthly private sector employment change was a mixed bag of small gains and losses, resulting in four industry supersectors adding employment, four contracting and two remaining unchanged. The largest job gains were recorded in leisure and hospitality (+1,300) and trade, transportation and utilities (+1,000). The advance in leisure and hospitality was due mainly to hiring in the accommodations and food services component while the gain in trade, transportation and utilities was entirely due to increased employment in the retail trade segment. Retail employment in March may have been boosted by this year’s early arrival of the Easter shopping season. Significant job losses over the month occurred in construction (-700), and professional and business services (-600). Employment in these two industries is still being impacted by the troubled housing market and associated problems in the mortgage and credit industries.
Public sector jobholding expanded by 700 over the month led by an increase in local government (+900), which includes municipal and county level employees.