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New Jersey adds 5,700 jobs in July; unemployment rate drops to 6.5 percent

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New Jersey employment increased by 5,700 jobs in July, as unemployment fell to 6.5 percent, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

July estimates found that private-sector employment grew by 8,500 jobs, while public-sector employment fell by 2,800 jobs. It was the fifth month in a row that private-sector employment grew, the BLS reported.

Overall, New Jersey employment measured 3.95 million jobs, the BLS found.

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 “Since March, private payrolls have grown at a rate nearly equal to the rapid pace seen in the early months of 2012 and 2013,” Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, said in a prepared statement. “These gains show that we are putting last winter into the rear view mirror. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate continues to fall and resident employment continues to increase.”

New Jersey has gained 149,400 jobs since February 2010, "which was the recessionary low point for private sector employment jobs in New Jersey," according to the BLS.

However, New Jersey Public Policy President Gordon MacInnes pointed out that there was a caveat to the gains.

"While New Jersey's unemployment rate has been declining and the state has been seeing modest job increases for the past few months, that does not mean all is well with the state's economy," he said in a statement. "New Jersey has now recovered just 47 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession, less than half than the nation as a whole, which has recovered 108 percent."

June estimates for New Jersey jobs were revised slightly lower, to reflect a gain of 7,300 jobs from May to June. The private sector gained 8,600 jobs while the public sector lost 1,300.


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