The New Jersey October jobs report released Nov. 17 revealed a mix bag of results.
The report, based on preliminary estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that nonfarm employment ticked down by 1,300 in October.
Charles Steindel, former chief economist of the State of New Jersey, analyzed the data for think tank Garden State Initiative. According to him, the October labor developments were positive overall, noting that the slight decline was the result of a marked loss of 8,000 government jobs following an unusually large gain in that sector in September.
“Private jobs grew by 6,700, and the initial count for September was revised [by] 4,300, and now shows an increase,” said Steindel. “Finance was the only private sector to report a job loss; construction, which has been weak, eked out a modest 400 gain.”
The report marks 30 straight months that the private sector has grown in New Jersey.
The unemployment rate ticked up 0.2% to 3.5%, which remains under the national rate of 3.7%. Steindel attributes the jump to a sharp gain in the labor force.
“The unemployment rate increase was due to an unusually large increase of 23,900 in the state’s labor force (more than reversing a notable drop in September) – resident employment expanded by 15,100,” said Steindel. “Although concerns are rising that a recession may be brewing, the national labor market has not shown any worrying signs, and the same is true for New Jersey.”