New Jersey still trails region on jobs

New numbers show that progress toward New Jersey’s economic recovery continues to be sluggish.

New Jersey inched down to a 9.7 percent rate of unemployment in October — still almost two full points above the national average.New Jersey Policy Perspectives Director Gordon MacInnes says he’s noticed a loss of the momentum that seemed to be taking place in the spring.

“It really has fallen apart over the summer and into the fall in terms of numbers that are barely positive or barely negative,” he said Wednesday. “It’s really pretty flat.”

New Jersey is trailing the rest of the region.

MacInnes says Pennsylvania has recovered three-quarters of the jobs lost during the recession. New York has grown its job base to the point that its unemployment rate is lower than before the recession. New Jersey has restored only 35 percent of the jobs that were lost.

Then there’s Sandy. The storm in late October put some out of work. While creating temporary booms for cleanup crews and hardware stores, on the whole, MacInnes expects the superstorm’s impact on the job market to be negative.

A lot of the jobs created immediately, he says, will eventually go away.

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