Private employers in New Jersey added 30,900 jobs in December, the largest single monthly gain since the current system of employment tracking began in 1990, the state Labor Department reported Thursday.
Job gains were reported in all of the state’s nine major private industry sectors. The largest jump, of 6,000 jobs, was reported in trade, transportation and utilities.
Public employment dipped by 700 for the month, still leaving New Jersey with a jump in overall employment topping 30,000.
The Christie administration said the new figures show the trend in job creation and economic growth remains positive though the state still has a long way to go.
“With revisions to November’s job numbers, we know that New Jersey lost more than 10,000 jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy, not to mention the widespread devastation it wrecked on our people, infrastructure and economy. December’s report begins to tell a different tale — one that confirms the resilience of New Jerseyans and the speed with which we have begun to emerge from the storm,” the administration said in a statement.
New Jersey’s jobless rate remains stubbornly high — at 9.6 percent. That’s nearly 2 percentage points higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent for December.
The state had previously reported an identical jobless rate for November. But November’s number was adjusted upward to 9.7 percent.
The labor participation rate in New Jersey continued to rise in December, up to 66.2 percent, the Labor Department reported, several points higher than the national rate.
Those figures affect the jobless rate, because the government only counts as unemployed those actively searching for work.
A preliminary analysis shows that from December 2011 to December 2012, employment grew by 48,000 jobs, with the private sector accounting for more than 46,000.
The Labor Department said that figure represents the largest over-the-year private sector increase in jobs since December 1999 to December 2000, when more than 64,000 jobs were added.