While the nation recovers, New Jersey continues to lag far behind on jobs, according to the latest data release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The state’s 2012 annual average unemployment rate of 9.5 percent was the fourth highest in the U.S., and New Jersey was one of only two states that saw its annual rate increase from 2011 to 2012. The rates declined in 46 states, and were stagnant in two others.
New Jersey’s 2012 jobless rate remained higher than the nation’s as a whole (that rate dropped from 8.9 percent in 2011 to 8.1 percent in 2012), as well as higher than our neighbors: Pennsylvania’s 2012 rate was 7.9 percent and New York’s was 8.5 percent.
While the number of employed New Jerseyans rose from 2011 to 2012 by 39,000, so did the number of unemployed New Jerseyans – up by 11,000 to 436,000. The modest increase in employed residents was less than the increase in the state’s working age population, which rose by 44,000.
As NJPP’s president Gordon MacInnes notes in his statement on the data, these latest numbers should “pour ice water on New Jersey’s leaders” and make it clear – if it wasn’t already – that New Jersey’s economy is treading water and the result is a serious jobs problem.
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