The Department of Labor crows a little bit today in its regular monthly release of employment data, touting private employment as “sharply up” for the month of November, with a gain of 10,000 private sector jobs over October. For the year, the report says, the state has gained more than 51,000 private sector jobs, almost entirely in the low-paid service sector.
“November’s brisk pace of hiring shows that New Jersey’s employers have shaken off the effects of the unusual weather of the past few months and anticipate increased consumer spending,” Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury, says in a statement.
Beneath that bottom line, however, unemployment in New Jersey remains persistently high.
Despite the modest private sector gains (mainly in seasonal retail jobs), the Department of Labor reports that the state unemployment rate remained unchanged in November at 9.1 percent — even as the U.S. rate fell for the third month straight, to 8.6 percent.
Further, the total of 3.9 million non-farm jobs reported in the data means that nearly 200,000 fewer New Jerseyans are working now than were working in 2007, before the economy tanked. At the rate of 51,000 jobs a year, it will take another four years before employment returns to pre-recession levels.
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