From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey added 7,500 jobs in February, but the state’s unemployment rate actually edged up as formerly “discouraged workers” re-entered the workforce, according to data released today by the state Department of Labor.
The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, from 9.1 percent in January, as discouraged workers — used to describe those who gave up looking for work — are now resuming their job search, department officials said.
The workforce participation rate, which is used to calculate the unemployment rate, includes those who are employed and anyone who is looking for work. Due to the new additions, that rate increased to 65.5 percent last month, from 65.3 percent in January.
New Jersey also shed more jobs in January than previously estimated, according to the revised data. The state lost 15,800 jobs in the first month of the year, substantially higher than the preliminary estimate of 13,000.
But the data still shows considerable improvement compared to a year ago, when the state’s unemployment rate hit 9.7 percent.
From New Jersey Newsroom:
Long term job figures show growth of 17,200 private sector jobs between February 2010 and February, in contrast to the previous year’s loss of 96,600 private sector jobs between February 2009 and February 2010.
In January, 15,800 people lost their private sector of government jobs. If the department’s figures are correct and 7,500 people found work, that would mean 3,836,400 New Jerseyans are employed but another 399,500 remain jobless.
In addition, New Jersey personal incomes are on an upswing, labor officials said. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the state’s aggregate personal income — an estimate of income earned by all residents — was $450.7 billion (at an annual rate) for the fourth quarter of 2010. This is a new record high and is 2.9 percent above the value for the fourth quarter of 2009.
“The income gain is one of the most encouraging signs yet that New Jersey’s economy is emerging from the recession,” Charles Steindel, the state Treasury Department’s chief economist.
The majority of the employment gain was recorded at private sector businesses, which added 6,800 jobs over the month as six of ten industry super-sectors recorded job gains. The number of government jobs increased by 700 in February.