From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey’s unemployment dropped a tick in September, going from 9.9 percent to 9.8 percent, according to figures released this morning by the state Labor Department.
The slight drop comes as the state also shed 1,200 jobs, marking the the third time in the past 13 months the state has lost jobs, figures show. Last month, the private sector added 1,100 jobs but that was offset 2,300 losses in public sector, figures show. The U.S. unemployment rate saw a larger decrease last month, going from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.
“While New Jersey’s job market in September still showed the effect of the summer doldrums apparent in the national figures these last few months, there are positive signs,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “Our long-term uptrend in private sector employment continues and September’s dip in unemployment might be a sign that the situation will be getting better.”
The new figures also mark the 39th consecutive month the state has had an unemployment rate above 9 percent and does little to beat back a string of disappointing economic news for Gov. Chris Christie. The economic slide began in January, when the unemployment rate bottomed out at 9 percent and Christie declared a “Jersey Comeback.”