State’s unemployment rate drops to 9.0 percent

TRENTON – The state’s unemployment rate dropped 0.3 points to 9 percent, as the state added more than 8,100 jobs in March, the state Labor Department said on Thursday.

While 10,400 private sector jobs were added, the public sector lost some 2,300 jobs.

“Once again, jobs and unemployment are moving in the right directions, reflecting the growing strength in the state’s economy,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the state Treasury Department.

As in prior months, the leisure and hospitality industries saw the biggest jobs gain (+5,500), with education and health services (+4,000), and manufacturing (+2,900).

Additional advances were recorded in construction (+900), other services (+400), and financial activities (+200). Job contraction occurred in information (-2,000), professional and business services (-1,100), and trade, transportation and utilities (-500).