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Labor Reporting Criticized [AUDIO]

Following a major revision of New Jersey’s employment statistics for the month of January, state labor officials are pushing for a change in the way the numbers are reported.

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Unemployed Workers
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

The preliminary report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated New Jersey lost 3,900 jobs between December 2013 and January 2014. However, a revision released Thursday shows the state actually gained more than 4,000 jobs over that time period.

“The significance of getting final numbers is very evident in January,” said Jeff Stoller with the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “The numbers always are much more reliable.”

Stoller said BLS is warming up to a suggestion from the National Association of State Workforce Agencies that three-month running averages be issued.

“One month’s results in isolation really don’t tell the story,” he said. “We have much greater certainty over that three-month average than any one month.”

The new, or additional, method could be part of the equation by next month.

Preliminary figures found New Jersey’s unemployment rate held at 7.1 percent in February, and the state lost 3,700 jobs.

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