TRENTON – While last month’s Verizon strike caused thousands to be out of work temporarily, New Jersey’s unemployment rate in August dropped to 9.4 percent, despite a net loss of 100 jobs, according to the state Labor and Workforce Development Department data.
For a brief period last month, the Verizon labor strike caused some 7,100 jobs to be lost. However, many of them have already returned to work, and total employment in New Jersey declined by 100 jobs.
“While our numbers reflect the softening of the national economy and were impacted by a significant labor dispute, this year’s uptrend in employment is still quite evident. The move down in the unemployment rate in August, small as it was, also was welcome news,” said Charles Steindel, chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
July’s unemployment rate was 9.5 percent.
Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey decreased in August to a seasonally adjusted 3,866,600, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey.
Private-sector payrolls were lower by 11,300 over the month (4,300 after accounting for 7,000 striking Verizon workers returning to work) with six of 10 industry sectors recording declines, two posting gains and two showing no change.
Public-sector workforce bulked up by 4,200 jobs, due to a seasonal increase in higher education jobs, according to the Labor Department.
Last month more than 2,600 jobs were created in the private sector.
Despite the overall jobs increase in August, several industries were hit hard. They include information (-7,000), leisure and hospitality (-4,400), and professional and business services (-1,600).
The contraction in professional and business services was seen in the administrative support/waste management/remediation services segment (-2,600).
Smaller losses were recorded in the financial activities (-900), manufacturing (-600) and trade transportation and utilities (-100) industry sectors.
The two industries that saw increases in August include other services (+2,400), which includes such jobs as auto repair and personal care services, and education and health services (+900). Employment in education and health services was higher due to job gains in the health services component (+1,300).