N.J. Gains More Than 30,000 Jobs, Largest Monthly Spike In Years
TRENTON — New Jersey gained 30,200 jobs in December, the largest monthly spike since officials began to keep track in 1990, the state Labor Department announced today.
The state unemployment rate was 9.6 percent at the end of December, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point from a revised November rate of 9.7 percent.
The preliminary report does not break down how many jobs were gained through reconstruction efforts after Superstorm Sandy. Christie administration officials said the impact was still hard to quantify.
“It could be a mixture of some growth that was bound to happen for the year … and also some Sandy recovery efforts,” said Brian Murray, spokesman for the Labor Department.
A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie, Kevin Roberts, said December’s strong numbers made 2012 the best year for job growth in a decade.
“With revisions to November’s job numbers, we know that New Jersey lost more than 10,000 jobs as a result of Hurricane Sandy, not to mention the widespread devastation it wrecked on our people, infrastructure, and economy,” Roberts said. “December’s report begins to tell a different tale – one that confirms the resilience of New Jerseyans and the speed with which we have begun to emerge from the storm.”
All nine major private-sector industries posted job gains in December, and the biggest boom was in the trade, transportation and utilities area, with 6,000 new workers. The construction sector added 4,300 employees. The public sector shed 700 jobs.
New Jersey’s jobless rate was the fourth-highest in the country for most of 2012, and remains 1.8 points above the U.S. average.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent in December. The nation gained 155,000 jobs in the final month of 2012.