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New Jersey Private Employment Positive in First Quarter 2015

New Jersey private sector employment grew over the first quarter of 2015, according to data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which significantly revised private employment upward for February as preliminary estimates for March indicate declines.

Private sector employment grew by 9,200 jobs in February, up 2,400 from preliminary estimates, according to revised data from the BLS, which also issued preliminary data for March estimating a private sector decline (-5,800) and estimating total nonfarm employment at a seasonally adjusted level of 3,990,100, as measured by the BLS monthly employer survey. The overall data shows private sector employment up 8,500 for the first quarter of 2015 and over-the-year growth (March 2014 to March 2015) of 44,800 jobs.

New Jersey private employers have added 177,500 jobs since February 2010, the low point of private sector employment during the recession. Public sector employment dropped (-600) in March and the state’s unemployment rate edged to 6.5 percent, according to preliminary BLS estimates. The number of people employed or actively seeking work continues to outpace the nation as New Jersey’s labor participation rate hits 64.1 percent compared to 62.7 percent for the U.S.

In March, private sector job growth was posted in four of nine major industry sectors while five recorded contractions. Industries that recorded employment gains included manufacturing (+2,800), education and health services (+800), other services (+500) and information (+500). Industries that experienced job contraction were trade, transportation and utilities (-4,600), professional and business services (-3,000), construction (-2,300), leisure and hospitality (-300) and financial activities (-200). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 600.

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