It’s not often that a Governor holds a press conference to tell the State House press corps that New Jersey’s jobless rate has inched up and is now a full percentage point above the national average, but that’s what happened today.

Governor Chris Christie says, “I’m glad to report that New Jersey has just seen the largest single monthly job gain, overall and in the private sector, in seven years. Last month New Jersey grew 17,600 jobs. That is twenty-five percent of all the jobs created in America last month were created in one state, the state of New Jersey.”

New Jersey’s economy has now added jobs in eight out of the last nine months, and the longer-term employment trend continues to be on the upswing. Over the year, May 2011 – May 2012, total nonfarm employment in New Jersey has increased by 59,800 jobs.

“We’re seeing sustained economic growth with continued job creation at a rate we haven’t experienced in the last decade,” says Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “While our unemployment rate has ticked up slightly it is because growth in the labor force has outstripped population growth. We’re seeing continued confidence in our job market as our labor force participation rate keeps increasing, even outpacing the national rate.”

 

“Certainly the creation of jobs is good news, but the fact of the matter is, is that New Jersey lags behind the nation and has lagged behind the nation,” says Assemblyman John Wisniewski, chairman of the Democratic State Committee. “Our unemployment rate is not only above the national average, it’s above the regional average. Neighboring states are far outpacing New Jersey in economic growth and economic performance and that is directly attributable to the misguided policies this Governor has pursued. His policies have had one goal and one goal only; to put him in position to run for national office.”

The state’s May unemployment rate edged slightly higher to 9.2 percent from April’s 9.1 percent. The national jobless rate is 8.2 percent. Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived at through the use of two different monthly surveys; the establishment survey for jobs and the household survey for unemployment and can move in opposite directions.

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