New Jersey's unemployment rate rose slightly in April to 8.4 percent as 14,400 more people lost their jobs.
The national rate stands at 8.9 percent.
April marked the 15th consecutive month that the jobless rate climbed in the state. The unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in March when 13,300 people lost their jobs.
According to preliminary estimates from the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development's monthly survey of employers, non farm wage and salary employment, 3,945,600 people remain working. All of the job loss occurred in the private sector while 1,200 people found work with the federal government as it prepares for the 2010 census.
"The serious impact of this global recession continues to be felt by New Jersey's working families and their employers," said state Labor Commissioner David J. Socolow. He offered a reminder to the unemployed that the Department of Labor and Workforce Development provides unemployment benefits, training for new careers or reemployment assistance.
Job loss in April was felt across most industries as declines were recorded in eight of ten areas. The largest job loss, 5,900, occurred in trade, transportation and utilities; leisure and hospitality, 5,700; professional and business services, 2,300; manufacturing, 2,000, and construction, 1,700.
As the recession has deepened, reduced spending by budget-conscious consumers has affected payrolls in trade, and leisure and hospitality in New Jersey and throughout the nation. In April, both the retail and wholesale sectors lost jobs and trade employment moved lower. Leisure and hospitality, including arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as food services lost jobs. Jobs were also lost in professional and business services such as scientific and technical services.
Modest gains were recorded in the information, 1,400 new jobs, and education and health services, 900.
Over the month, the average hourly earnings for manufacturing employees decreased by -$0.02 to $18.48 and weekly earnings decreased by $8.22 to $755.83. Compared with April of last year, the average hourly earnings increased by $0.71 and weekly earnings were higher by $5.94.