TRENTON – The state lost more than 11,000 jobs in September, yet its unemployment rate dropped .02 of a percentage point to 9.2 percent, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday.
Last month, the state lost 5,800 private-sector jobs and there were 5,300 fewer jobs in the public sector.
“While this second consecutive monthly drop in the unemployment rate is good news, the weakness in payroll employment figures is disappointing. The effects of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee may have held down our job count in September but, even so, the figures suggest that we have not been immune to the recent softness in national job formation,” Charles Steindel, chief economist for the state Treasury Department, said in a statement.
The estimate of total employment in August was revised upwards, by 4,600 jobs, to show an over-the-month (July-August) total nonfarm employment loss of 2,500 jobs.
Several industries reported job losses, including manufacturing (-4,100), leisure and hospitality (-3,700), and trade, transportation and utilities (-3,400). In manufacturing, job loss occurred in both the durable (-2,100) and nondurable (-2,000) categories while the drop in leisure and hospitality was concentrated in the accommodation and food services component.
Industries that saw job growth last month include professional and business services (+3,900), education and health services (+2,700), financial activities (+2,100) and construction (+1,000).
The increase in professional and business services was mainly due to job gains in the professional, scientific and technical services component (+3,700) while the advance in education and health services were seen in both the educational services (+1,300) and health care and social assistance (+1,400) categories, the department said.
The gain in financial activities was split among the finance and insurance (+800) and real estate/rental/leasing (+1,300) components.