N.J. unemployment dips below 4% mark in April

By Eric Strauss
New Jersey | May 16, 2019 at 1:29 pm

New Jersey’s unemployment rate dipped below 4% in April, as the state’s employers added 11,800 jobs, according to the Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, April’s unemployment dropped by 0.2 percentage points, to 3.9%. Jobs, meanwhile, rose for the sixth time in seven months, to a total nonfarm employment level exceeding 4.2 million.

The private sector added 10,900 positions, while the public sector added 900 jobs.

“Our state is continuing to follow the positive national trend of adding jobs to the economy,” Garden State Initiative President Regina Egea said in a prepared statement. “However, the stagnation in our workforce size and significant losses in the financial activities sector, which in prior years has led our growth, remain cause for concern going forward.”

Financial activities was one of only two private industry sectors to lose jobs for the month, posting a 2,300-position decline. Seven industries gained jobs in April, the DOL said, led by professional and business services, which gained 4,500 positions, and leisure and hospitality, which gained 4,100.

While the state posted a year-over-year gain of 56,300 jobs when compared with April 2018, the financial activities sector lost 7,700 positions from the year-ago month, GSI said.

The DOL noted that March’s employment estimate was revised upward to 6,300 jobs gained, from 3,600 jobs estimated. The unemployment rate for March was 4.1%.

Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat