BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Wirths Says NJ Unemployment Drop is Encouraging

The latest release of November unemployment numbers shows that New Jersey’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8 percent. New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Harold Wirths told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that the 0.6 percent drop is the largest in history.

“It’s very encouraging and the last 12 months unemployment has dropped about over 1.8 points, which is the largest drop in 30 years so it’s very encouraging,” said Wirths.

Along with a drop in unemployment numbers throughout the state, labor participation numbers also took a dip in November but still remains 1.3 points higher than the national average, according to Wirths. About 14,000 jobs were created within the private sector and a total of 17,000 jobs were created. Wirths also mentions that the unemployment rate in the state continues to fall and that the state is catching up to the national level.

Employment and job growth within education and health have been strong, according to Wirths. Construction jobs went down as manufacturing went up but Wirths says that six of nine industries have seen an increase.

Wirths says that he is not surprised by the job growth in November but was surprised by the unemployment drop.

“This is a great drop in unemployment and with strong job growth, so really can’t ask for much more,” said Wirths.