New Jersey employment grew by 17,600 jobs last month, the largest jump in more than seven years, thanks to government roles being filled and the grand opening of a new casino, Bloomberg reports.
According to the news source, the state's unemployment grew to 9.2 percent, one percent higher than the U.S. total, due to the growing labor force. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made the announcement on June 14, which confirmed that New Jersey was responsible for adding one-fourth of all new U.S. jobs in May.
The "Jersey Comeback," as Christie put it, will give the state some room to increase spending and reduce income taxes by 10 percent in the next three years.
"People who’ve not been looking for jobs for months, and some of them years, are now entering the labor force to try and find jobs," Christie said. "They believe the New Jersey Comeback is under way. We’re back on track."
Temporary staffing and summer hiring by local and state government made up most of the 4,700 public sector jobs that were created last month - more than one quarter of all new jobs. Employers outside the government added 12,900 jobs, of which more than three-fourths were in the leisure and hospitality industries.
This sector got a huge shot in the arm from the new $2.4 billion Revel casino and hotel, which opened on April 2.
According to the news provider, the state's unemployment rate has been above 9 percent since June 2009. The largest job losses were seen in the financial services sector, where 4,800 jobs were cut. However, in eight of the nine last months, the state has added jobs.
"We’re seeing sustained economic growth with continued job creation at a rate we haven’t experienced in the last decade," said 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."
In the year between May 2011 and May 2012, total nonfarm employment in New Jersey grew by 59,800 jobs, according to data from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.