From the Record:
In the biggest surge in almost three years, employers nationwide added 321,000 jobs in November — a leap forward that threatens to leave New Jersey further behind.
Friday’s strong Labor Department report shows national job growth accelerating and that it now is above 2 percent year to date, outdistancing New Jersey’s lukewarm pace of 0.73 percent so far in 2014, as the state grapples with the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy and the downsizing of key industries such as pharmaceuticals and telecom.
The report also raises questions about when job gains will start to translate into bigger paychecks for Americans, whose incomes have stagnated as the nation slowly recovers from the Great Recession.
The unemployment rate was unchanged in November at 5.8 percent. Professional and business services, retail, and education and health services led job gains. The government also said 44,000 more jobs than originally estimated were added in September and October. So far this year, the nation has gained about 2.65 million jobs.
It was the 10th straight month employers created more than 200,000 jobs, the longest such stretch since the mid-1990s.
But in terms of employment, the picture has been less hopeful in New Jersey, where November job numbers are to be released Dec. 18.
In October, the state shed 4,500 jobs, and the unemployment rate was 6.5 percent; it has been higher than the national rate most of the time since 2011.
So far this year, the state has gained about 22,900 jobs, putting it on pace to beat last year’s lackluster total of 18,800 jobs. This year’s rate is well below the pace of 2012, when New Jersey added almost 44,000 jobs. And New Jersey has recovered only about 46 percent of the nearly 260,000 jobs it lost during the 2007-09 recession.
Joseph Seneca, a Rutgers University economist, said that in the next couple of months, New Jersey may get “a sizable echo effect from the very strong job gains in the U.S. labor market this year.”
“However, the lingering effects of Sandy, the large loss of casino jobs, the lack of a bounce back of manufacturing jobs and the absence of energy-related job growth [seen in other states] have all worked against the state this year,” he said.