N.J. Private-Sector Job Growth in July Lowers Unemployment Rate to 6.5%

From the Star-Ledger, August 14, 2014:

New Jersey added 5,700 jobs in July led by strong private-sector growth, which helped lower the unemployment rate to 6.5 percent, according to data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the improvement, the jobless rate remains above the national average, which now stands at 6.2 percent.

New Jersey gained 8,500 private-sector jobs last month, but lost 2,800 public-sector positions, most of those from a greater-than expected-seasonal dip at the local government level, the state Department of Labor reported.

The state’s chief economist, Charles Steindel, said since March, “private payrolls have grown at a rate nearly equal to the rapid pace seen in the early months of 2012 and 2013. These gains show that we are putting last winter into the rearview mirror,” he said.

But Gordon MacInnes, president of the left-leaning New Jersey Policy Perspective, said the recent string of job increases “does not mean all is well with the state’s economy.”

In the past year, Maccinnes said, “New Jersey has added just 13,600 jobs, while over the same period 43,500 residents have left the labor force, mostly because they can’t find jobs.”