New Jersey Unemployment Rate Dips to 5.9 Percent; Lowest Level in Seven Years

New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month down 0.2 percentage points in July to 5.9 percent – the state’s lowest unemployment level since September 2008 and down from a high of 9.8 percent in January 2010 when the Christie Administration entered office, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The long-term BLS data for New Jersey remains positive, with the BLS employer survey showing 19,900 jobs added over the past year (July 2014 – July 2015) and private sector employment growing by 174,900 jobs since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment. The preliminary report for July was mixed with the BLS employer survey showing private and public sector employment contracted over the month, (private -12,300; public -1,300), while the BLS resident household survey showed 45,900 more New Jersey residents reporting to be employed than a year ago.

The July data showed a seasonally adjusted total nonfarm wage and salary employment level in New Jersey at 3,986,000. The Garden State’s labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people employed or actively seeking work, continued to best the national rate, 63.9 percent to 62.6 percent.

The BLS preliminary estimates for July show gains in trade, transportation and utilities (+4,300) and education and health services (+300). Industries registering contractions include leisure and hospitality (-7,400), professional and business services (-5,200) and financial activities (-2,700). Smaller contractions were in information (-1,200), other services (-200) and construction (-100). Manufacturing remained unchanged.

Based on additional reporting from employers, estimates for June were revised to an over-the-month total nonfarm level of -12,500.


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