New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped again in December, according to preliminary figures released by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.The department said estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the non-farm jobs in the Garden State grew by 3,100 and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent for the month.
“The year 2016 ended on a high note for the Garden State,” James Wooster, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, said in a prepared statement.
“The unemployment rate has dropped by 0.3 percentage point to 4.7 percent, the November preliminary estimate of employment gains was revised upward by 38 percent to 5,400 and December posted total job gains of 3,100. This is a good way to start the New Year, and there is every reason to expect continued growth over the upcoming year.”
The state’s labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people employed or actively seeking employment, continues to best the national rate, 63.4 percent to 62.7 percent, respectively.
Over the past year, New Jersey private sector employers added 14,800 jobs, making 2016 the seventh consecutive year of private sector growth in the state. The Garden State added 281,700 private sector jobs since February 2010, which was the recessionary low point.
In December, the education and health services brought in the most growth, adding 4,200 jobs.
The other services sector added 2,500 positions, while financial activities added 1,700 and manufacturing added 1,200. Both the construction and information sectors added 900 positions each, while the leisure and hospitality sector added 700.
When it came to industries that lost jobs for the month, professional and business services fell by 5,300 jobs and the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 4,200.
The public sector added 500 jobs.