BY TOM HESTER SR.
New Jersey's struggling economy is showing little recovery.
In November, 16,800 New Jerseyans found work — much of it temporary — but another 15,600 lost their jobs, according to figures released Wednesday by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. More than 321,000 New Jerseyans remain out of work.
Even as retailers prepared for the holiday shopping season, they laid-off 3,600 people. In the construction industry, 4,500 people found work, but another 4,500 were laid off.
The gain of 1,200 jobs had no affect on the state's unemployment rate of 9.2 percent but Labor Department officials point out the unemployment rate was 10 percent last December.
The national unemployment increased to 9.8 percent in November, up from 9.6 percent in October.
The number of people employed in New Jersey is 3,841,900.
The majority of the 16,800 new jobs were recorded at private sector businesses which added 9,300 jobs over the month. Seven of ten industry sectors posted job gains. New Jersey's private sector employers have now added jobs in five of the past six months and have increased employment by 10,700 so far in 2010. Comparatively, 115,600 private sector jobs were lost over the first eleven months of 2009
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised higher by 1,400 jobs, resulting in an over-the-month (September-October) gain of 2,600 jobs.
In November, industries with significant job gains included construction, up 4,500 jobs, professional and business services, up 3,900, education and health services, 2,800, other services 2,200, and financial activities, 2,000. The gain in professional and business services was due to hiring in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment, 6,300, which saw increased employment at temporary help agencies. Smaller increases were recorded in manufacturing, 900, and information, 500.
Industries that experienced job loses were leisure and hospitality, down 4,500, trade, transportation and utilities, 2,900, and mining and logging, 100. In leisure and hospitality job losses were recorded in the arts, entertainment, and recreation, 2,600, and accommodation and in the food services, 1,900.
Government employment increased by 700 as local governments hired 1,100 people. But the federal government laid off 100 people and the state government cut 500 jobs.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers was unchanged at 40.4 hours. Average hourly earnings decreased by $0.02 to $18.75 and weekly earnings were down by $0.81 to $757.50. Compared with November of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by 1.3 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.91 and weekly earnings were up by $13.57.