Oct-20-10 Employment Falls in September; Unemployment Rate Lower at 9.4 Percent
TRENTON, October 20, 2010 – According to preliminary estimates, jobholding in New Jersey declined in September for both the private and public sectors. The state’s unemployment rate moved lower over the month, down by 0.2 percentage point to 9.4 percent, mainly as a result of working-age residents leaving the labor force. The national unemployment rate in September remained at 9.6 percent.
Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State was lower by 20,200 jobs over the month to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,823,800. Job losses in the public sector (-10,800) exceeded the drop in private sector employment (-9,400). Over the first nine months of 2010, private sector payrolls have decreased by 3,900 jobs while the same nine-month period in 2009 saw private sector employment fall by 108,400.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released August estimates show a revised over-the-month (July–August) loss of 1,100 jobs, after a downward revision of 1,600 for a total employment level of 3,844,000. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 500 jobs.
In September, six-of-ten private sector industry supersectors registered job losses while three recorded gains, one was unchanged. Industries with significant job contraction included: professional and business services (-4,500); education and health services (-2,700); trade, transportation and utilities (-2,400), and leisure and hospitality (-1,900). In professional and business services the majority of the loss occurred in the administrative support/waste management/remediation services component (-3,300), while the drop in education and health services was all due to losses in the (private) education services segment (-5,400). Smaller drops were recorded in construction (-1,100) and financial activities (-300). In industry sectors that saw an increase over the month, the gains were relatively small occurring in manufacturing (+1,800); information (+1,000), and other services (+700).
Public sector employment fell during September by 10,800 jobs. The majority of the loss was at the local government level (-7,600). Local government includes employees of counties, municipalities and local school boards. Federal government payrolls also were lower in September (-2,900) as more temporary workers were released by the US Census Bureau. October will probably see the separation of the last remaining temporary workers engaged in Census 2010 activities.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers increased by 0.3 to 40.7 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.07 to $18.69 and weekly earnings were up by $2.78 to $760.68. Compared with September of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by 0.8 hour, average hourly earnings increased by $0.44 and weekly earnings were up by $3.30.