New Jersey’s private-sector employers added 10,400 jobs in March and the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.0 percent, down .3 percentage points from February, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.In the past year, from March 2012 to March 2013, New Jersey added 44,600 private-sector jobs, and has added 127,800 jobs since the recessionary low point in February 2010.
“Once again, jobs and unemployment are moving in the right directions, reflecting the growing strength in the state’s economy,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “Our labor force participation rate and employment-population rate remain well above the national averages, and higher than a year ago.”
Job gains were seen in six of the state’s nine major industry sectors: leisure and hospitality added 5,500 jobs; education and health services added 4,000; manufacturing added 2,900, construction added 900, financial activities was up by 200 jobs and other services added 400 positions.
Information lost 2,000 jobs, professional and business services were down by 1,100 positions and trade, transportation and utilities lost 500 jobs. Public-sector jobs in New Jersey decreased by 2,300 positions in March.
February’s estimates were revised lower, down by 3,500 jobs, to show a total nonfarm employment gain of 9,400 jobs.
In March, the work week increased by .5 hours to 40.3 hours. The average hourly earnings increased by $0.11 to $19.06, and weekly earnings rose by $13.91 to $768.12.