U.S. data: Economic recovery remains sluggish

TRENTON – If it seems as if New Jersey’s economy has been spinning wheels like a car stuck in mud, the federal government has some data that supports that idea.

On the heels of the state releasing its own information recently showing that revenues have been lower than forecast, placing into question the fates of the various tax-cut plans floating around the Statehouse, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has come out with its latest figures on how unemployment rates are changing – or not changing – around the country as of April.

The bureau reported that New Jersey is one of those state whose jobless rate – 9.1 percent – it considers “statistically different” from that of the U.S. – 8.1 percent – for April.

Leading the pack in having “statistically different’’ higher jobless rates than the country as a whole were Nevada, Rhode Island and California with rates of 11.7, 11.2 and 10.9 percent, respectively, according to the bureau.

Following them were Washington, D.C., North Carolina and New Jersey at 9.5, 9.4 and 9.1 percent, respectively. Then Georgia showed up on the list at 8.9 percent.

In addition, the federal government listed New Jersey as one of 26 states whose jobless rates in April were not appreciably different from a year ago, lending further credence to the suspicion that the recovery has not shifted from low gear to drive.

According to the U.S. bureau, Michigan registered the largest jobless rate decrease from April 2011, 2.2 percent.

On the plus side for New Jersey, however, according to the bureau’s statistics, it did actually have more jobs from April 2011 to April 2012, rising from 3,849,700 million to 3,889,300 million, an increase of 39,600.

U.S. data: Economic recovery remains sluggish