N.J. Jobless Rate Dips Again, but Pending Atlantic City Casino Closures Loom

From the Star-Ledger, August 15, 2014:

Call it the calm before the storm.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.5 percent in July, the fourth straight monthly decline, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today. The good news, however, comes just weeks before thousands of expected job losses take effect from three Atlantic City casinos set to close.

Last month, the state’s private sector again provided the engine for job growth by creating 8,500 new positions, according to the report. That offset another dip in public-sector employment, which saw 2,800 job cuts — nearly all at the local government level — after 1,300 losses in June.

But with the planned closure of Showboat Casino Hotel at the end of this month, and Trump Plaza and Revel Casino Hotel next month, more than 6,500 employees stand to lose their jobs.

Gordon MacInnes, president of the left-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective, said the state’s recent run of job growth “does not mean all is well” with the economy. As an example, he cited the pending Atlantic City casino closures and accompanying job losses.

“You get a sense of the impact on the county, and come September, the impact on the state.”