N.J. employment picture brightens

The pace of hiring in New Jersey picked up last month.

Employers in the Garden State added 10,000 jobs in November. State Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths said that’s the best job growth of the year. Most of the gains were in the private sector.

“Five out of six months, we’ve had private-sector job growth so we’re hoping that it’s a trend. Then again 9.2 percent unemployment is still nothing to cheer about,” said Wirths. “But we’re definitely going in the right direction.”

Seven of 10 industry groups had hiring increases last month with construction showing the most job gains.

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James Hughes, the dean of the Boustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, anticipates private sector job growth will continue. But he said he expects it will take years for the jobless rate to fall to 5 percent, where it was before the recession.

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