New Jersey Employers Add 8,500 Private Sector Jobs in July, Unemployment Rate Drops to 6.5 Percent

New Jersey’s private sector grew for a fifth consecutive month as employers added 8,500 jobs in July, and the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent, according to data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Preliminary estimates for July indicate private sector employment in 2014 has grown by 27,600 jobs to date and increased by 149,400 jobs since February 2010, which was the recessionary low point for private sector employment jobs in New Jersey. Additionally, over the past year, New Jersey’s unemployment rate has fallen by 1.8 percentage points.

“Since March private payrolls have grown at a rate nearly equal to the rapid pace seen in the early months of 2012 and 2013.  These gains show that we are putting last winter into the rear view mirror.  Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continues to fall and resident employment continues to increase,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the State Department of the Treasury.

In July, total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased in New Jersey by 5,700 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,950,600, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey. The job gains were concentrated in the private sector (+8,500) of the state’s economy, as the public sector continued to contract (-2,800).

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released June estimates were revised slightly lower, down by 900 jobs, to show an over-the-month (May – June) total nonfarm employment gain of 7,300 jobs. The revised data showed private sector growth remained significant, up by 8,600 jobs, while the public sector contracted by 1,300. Preliminary estimates had initially indicated an over-the-month increase of 8,200 total nonfarm jobs.

In July, private sector job growth was posted in five of nine major industry sectors. Three recorded losses, while one was unchanged. Industries that recorded employment gains included professional and business services (+5,400), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,200), construction (+2,000), financial activities (+1,800), and manufacturing (+100). Industries that experienced job contraction were other services (-1,800), leisure and hospitality (-700), and information (-400).

Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 2,800, led by a greater than expected seasonal drop at the local (-2,400) government level.

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