County-level unemployment rates fell in April throughout southern New Jersey, which would be a good sign if the state Department of Labor figures released Tuesday were adjusted for seasonal hirings and didn't count them as new jobs.
They weren't. That means the improvement is due to the start of some seasonal jobs in spring, which happens every year regardless of where the economy is headed.
In Atlantic County, the jobless rate fell to 11 percent in April from 11.6 percent the prior month. In the same months last year, the rate fell from 6.5 percent to 5.8 percent.
Cape May County unemployment dropped to 12.2 percent from 15.1 percent in March. A year ago, it fell from 10.8 percent to 8.2 percent.
Similar seasonal declines in April unemployment were seen in Cumberland County (12.2 to 11.3 percent) and Ocean County (9.8 to 9 percent).
By comparison, the state's jobless rate without seasonal adjustment was 8.2 percent in April, down from 8.6 percent the month before.
But the universally accepted seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for New Jersey was 8.4 percent in April, up from 8.3 percent in March.
Also Tuesday, federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed New Jersey lost 14,400 jobs from March to April, and that for the past 12 months the job losses have been concentrated in manufacturing (10.7 percent), construction (10.1 percent), business and professional services (6.8 percent), and financial services (5.2 percent).
Leisure and hospitality services, which include reductions in the Atlantic City casino industry, accounted for 3.3 percent of the job losses the past 12 months.