Unemployment rate edges down, state loses 8,100 jobs

TRENTON – New Jersey’s unemployment rate edged down in November despite the state losing 8,100 jobs, according to the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The state’s unemployment rate dipped by 0.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 9.6 percent, according to the latest figures. Lower employment levels were recorded in both the private and public sectors, which lost 3,700 and 4,400 jobs, respectively.

According to the latest figures, October’s jobless figures were revised sharply higher from a loss of 10,700 jobs to a loss of only 1,000 jobs.

“The sharp upward revision in the October number shows us that once again that first reports of large losses can be exaggerated,” said Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury, in a statement.

Steindel called the job loss “fairly modest,” crediting s uperstorm Sandy with causing a spike in jobless claims.

“It seems clear that the storm generated some job losses, particularly in leisure and hospitality, but the total loss for the state was fairly modest, and the unemployment rate continues to drift down,” he said.

The national rate of unemployment dropped to 7.7 percent in November, down from 7.9 percent as the economy added 146,000 new jobs, according to national data.

"Sit down and shut up!"
—Gov. Chris Christie, to a Hurricane Sandy heckler