N.J. employment picture brightens

There are signs New Jersey’s job picture is starting to improve.The jobless rate in the Garden State fell two-tenths of a point last month and is now at 9.2 percent.Employment increased by 2,600 jobs. Gains in the private sector more than offset the fifth monthly decline in the public sector. New Jersey Business & Industry Association President Phil Kirschner expects job growth will continue — slowly.”Our members are looking for a consistent pickup in demand for their services or the products that they sell,” said Kirschner. “Once they see four, five, six consistent months where demand is up, it doesn’t even have to be strongly up, I think you’ll see more in the way of permanent hiring.”Seven of 10 industry groups showed job growth in October with the biggest gains in professional and business services and financial activities. The construction industry continues to struggle with more job losses.New Jersey Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths, who says the state’s job market has stabilized, said Wednesday he’s cautiously optimistic things are getting better.”For sustained job growth, a lot of it will be a national economy. I think the country has to start pulling out of this recession which they technically say we’re out of the recession,” said Wirths. “And I think we have to do things to make the state more business friendly.”

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