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New Jersey Unemployment Rate Continues to Drop, Hits 5.7 Percent

New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped for a third straight month, down to 5.7 percent in August, as private sector employment expanded by 13,800 jobs, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). New Jersey’s unemployment rate has dropped 0.8 percentage points since May, reaching a seven-year low not seen since August 2008 and down from a high of 9.8 percent in January 2010.

New Jersey private sector employers have added 37,400 jobs over the past year (August 2014 – August 2015), and the Garden State has now recovered 191,800 private sector jobs since February 2010, the low point for private sector employment during the recession. The August preliminary data shows a seasonally adjusted total nonfarm wage and salary employment level in New Jersey of 4,002,700.

Additionally, the number of people employed or actively seeking work in New Jersey, as measured by the labor force participation rate, continues to exceed the national rate, 63.7 percent to 62.6 percent.

The BLS preliminary estimates for August record private sector job growth in seven of nine major industry sectors: professional and business services (+4,600), leisure and hospitality (+3,600), education and health services (+2,100), financial activities (+1,800), manufacturing (+1,200), construction (+600), and other services (+500). Minor contractions were in trade, transportation, and utilities (-500) and information (-200).

Based on additional reporting from employers, preliminary total nonfarm employment estimates for July were revised higher by 3,100.

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