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Jobless rate dips slightly, but N.J. still sheds 8,100 jobs in November

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While New Jersey's unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point for the third consecutive month, to 9.6 percent, employment in the state dropped by 8,100 jobs in November, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported today.

The latest monthly job loss was split between the private sector, which shed 3,700 jobs, and the public sector, which shed 4,400 jobs, mostly at the local government level.

Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury, said in a statement the employment data “is a remarkably good showing under the circumstances created by (Hurricane) Sandy.”

“It seems clear that the storm generated some job losses — particularly in leisure and hospitality — but the total loss for the state was fairly modest, and the unemployment rate continues to drift down,” Steindel said in a statement.

On an even brighter note, New Jersey’s October job loss was milder than its originally estimated 11,700 job loss, as more complete reporting from the U.S. Department of Labor showed a total monthly employment loss of 1,000 jobs in the state

Steindel said in a statement that upward revision “shows us, once again, that first reports of large losses can be exaggerated.”

However, last month, September’s employment loss was revised down a further 1,500 jobs, for a monthly drop of 2,700 jobs.

Accounting for today’s numbers, the state’s private-sector employers have added 20,200 jobs since January 2012. That’s nearly half the pace of hiring between January 2011 and November 2011, when employers added 51,700 jobs.

Only two of New Jersey’s 10 private-sector industries reported significant job gains in November — professional and business services, with 8,300 jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities, with 3,300 jobs. Small gains were posted in the information sector, which added 200 jobs, and manufacturing, which added 200 jobs after shedding 400 jobs in October.


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