NJ Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.2 Percent; 2014 Marks Fifth Consecutive Year of Private Sector Job Growth

The state’s unemployment rate dropped again in December, down by 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent from the November rate of 6.4 percent. As preliminary monthly data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated, 2014 marked a fifth consecutive year for private sector job growth in the Garden State.

The BLS data indicates that, over the past year, New Jersey’s unemployment rate has dropped by 1.0 percentage point from 7.2 percent recorded in December 2013, and it has dropped by 3.5 percentage points since the recessionary high of 9.7 percent reached in December 2009. A preliminary over-the-year analysis of the BLS data also shows that, from December 2013 to December 2014, private sector employment grew by 29,900.

Since February 2010, the recessionary low point of private sector employment in New Jersey, private sector employers have added 151,700 jobs.

Preliminary monthly estimates released by the BLS indicate employment remained essentially unchanged from November to December, with total nonfarm employment decreasing by 400 jobs to a seasonally adjusted total of 3,957,800 as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey. The data represents a 300 drop in private sector employment and 100 in the public sector.

The preliminary data shows public sector employment down by 900 over the year.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for November 2014 was revised and shows an over-the-month (October – November) gain of 5,500 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 6,700 jobs.

In December, private sector job gains were posted in four of nine major industry sectors, four recorded a loss and one was unchanged. Industries that recorded employment gains included education and health services (+3,700), professional and business services (+1,400), construction (+900) and other services (+200). Job contraction was registered in leisure and hospitality (-2,400), financial activities (-1,900), information (-1,100), and trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,100). Manufacturing employment was unchanged over the month.

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