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State returns to job growth in April; unemployment drops

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New Jersey added jobs in April, according to the state Department of Labor, which also revised the March job loss nearly 30 percent lower.

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the state unemployment rate declined in April, ticking 0.1 of a percentage point lower, to 4.1 percent. That is 0.3 of a percentage point lower than the national rate of 4.4 percent.

Private-sector employers added 1,900 jobs, the Department of Labor said, bringing the total number of jobs added in the past year to 55,900. The state also said the March job loss of 17,500 was revised to a narrower loss of 12,500 positions.

The public sector lost 2,200 jobs in April, the state said.

“The April figures indicate the New Jersey labor market remains on a positive track, with private-sector employment increasing by 1,900 jobs, for an average of 3,725 jobs per month thus far in 2017,” James Wooster, chief economist with the state Department of the Treasury, said in a prepared statement. “This is fully in line with the performance over the current recovery. Further supporting the improving labor market is the fact that the unemployment rate, at 4.1 percent, is at its lowest level since June 2001.”

Five of 10 major private industry sectors posted gains, the state said, including:

  • Leisure and hospitality, 3,100;
  • Professional and business services, 2,600;
  • Financial activities, 1,300;
  • Education and health services, 800;
  • Other services, 100.

The sectors losing jobs included:

  • Trade, transportation and utilities, -4,600;
  • Construction, -1,000;
  • Manufacturing, -400.

The mining and logging and information sectors were flat.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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