TRENTON – New Jersey added 4,000 private-sector jobs, while losing 1,500 public-sector jobs, for a net gain of 2,500 jobs, and saw its unemployment rate in October slip from 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent, the state’s labor department said Thursday.
It continues a three-month streak of steadily decreasing unemployment, according to the department. Since January, the state has added 38,600 jobs. September’s jobs report was revised for the better, adding 6,100 jobs instead of the initial estimate of 5,000 jobs.
“The rebound in the job count in October, along with the drop in the unemployment rate, suggests that the state’s economy continues to move forward. The pace of improvement is much less than we all desire, but we are going the right way,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the state Treasury Department.
The industries that saw the largest job gains last month included educational and health services (+2,600), manufacturing (+1,500), trade, transportation and utilities (+600), and professional and business services (+500).
Job losses occurred in information (-1,600), leisure and hospitality (-1,100), financial activities (-700) and construction (-700).
Over the month, public-sector employment was lower by 1,500 with contraction at the state government (-2,000) level overshadowing a gain of 500 in local government.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) of West Deptford, said the lower unemployment rate shows recently enacted policies are bearing fruit.
“Today’s unemployment figures show that the path of cutting taxes for small businesses is the right course to fuel our economic recovery,” Sweeney said. “We are starting to see results from the measures we took earlier this year in the Legislature.
“But we can’t let up now,” the senate president added. “Over the coming weeks, our main focus will remain squarely on righting our state’s economy, with bipartisan and broad-based initiatives to grow jobs not just now, but well into the future. If Governor Christie can come out and support our bipartisan measures, there is no telling how much we can get done.”