NJ employment rate on the right track, says Labor commissioner
New Jersey's unemployment rate last month was 4.7 percent.
That's higher than the March rate of 4.4 percent. But state Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths is a "big picture" advocate who maintains the job-creation trend shows we have produced 258,000 new jobs since early in 2010.
"The trend is still going in the right direction and we are still creating a lot of jobs year over year," he said.
"It is the trends that you have to look for, not just because we are having the last month was spectacular and this month is down some. And the trend is still going in the right direction and we are still creating a lot of jobs, year over year, since the Great Recession."
Wirths also says New Jersey's labor force participation rate — the amount of people feeling optimistic or working, the percentage of citizens in the employment game — ticked up again slightly.
"The strong areas are trade, transportation and utilities over the year."
He says private education is strong. Leisure and hospitality and financial activities are strong.
Although the April unemployment rate was higher, Wirths says New Jersey is still lower than the national rate of 5 percent.
But many private economist have pointed out New Jersey's economy has been growing a bit slower than many other states over the course of the long, slow recovery from the great recession.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5