Late-summer storms take toll on N.J. employment

Employment in New Jersey took a hit from all the flooding caused by the late-summer storms.

About 11,000 jobs were cut from Garden State payrolls in September with more than half of the losses in the private sector.

Floodwaters from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee are the primary culprits, according to Charles Steindel, chief economist with the state Treasury Department.

“We believe it affected manufacturing. We believe it affected leisure and hospitality. People weren’t too inclined when their basements were flooded to go out to dinner,” he said. “It might have affected some areas such as some of the transportation industries. The places of business in some cases just weren’t open.”

Public sector employment fell because the usual September hiring at Rutgers occurred a month earlier.

One sliver of a silver lining: As the holiday season approaches, Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths said the outlook for seasonal temporary employment is encouraging.

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