N.J. unemployment rate ticks higher despite hiring as more residents start job-hunting

The state unemployment rate rose slightly in October, despite New Jersey employers hiring more workers, according to the state Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Based on estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Garden State employment rose by 10,200 jobs for the month, to a seasonally adjusted level of 4.206 million jobs.

However, unemployment ticked up 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.2% for the month, as more residents entered the work force, seeking employment. The rate remained below the U.S. level of 3.6%, the DOL noted.

In other bad news, September’s job loss widened, as well, revised lower by 1,600 jobs to a month-over-month decrease of 1,800 jobs. The preliminary September unemployment rate of 3.1% was not revised.

For October, seven of nine major industries saw job gains, led by leisure and hospitality, with 5,900 positions added. The manufacturing sector lost 1,400 jobs, while the financial activities sector was unchanged.

Public-sector employment shrank by 2,100 jobs, with 1,300 of the positions lost at the local level.