N.J. continues hiring trend, but girds for casino job losses

 The closing of Trump Plaza, along with the Revel and Showboat casinos, will interrupt New Jersey's five-month trend of adding jobs. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The closing of Trump Plaza, along with the Revel and Showboat casinos, will interrupt New Jersey's five-month trend of adding jobs. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is moving lower, but there’s some concern about how long that trend will continue.

The jobless rate in the Garden State edged down by a tenth of a point in July to 6.5 percent. The national unemployment rate is 6.2 percent.

The public sector cut 2,800 jobs but private-sector employers added 8,500 workers, said state Labor Commissioner Hal Wirths.

“The job creation this month was actually in good categories. It was professional and business services, which are your highest-paying jobs, we had 5,400 created there. In trades and transportation, we had 2,200,” he said. “The encouraging thing here, the very encouraging thing, which we hadn’t seen in a while, is construction jobs for the month of July were up 2,000.”

Private-sector employment has increased for five months in a row.

That course is in danger of changing because thousands of workers will be losing their jobs as several Atlantic City casinos close.

“Those numbers have to affect our employment numbers going forward for the month of September and October. There’s going to be in the neighborhood of 4,000 to 6,000 job losses,” he said. “We’re getting a breakdown of how many of those job losses are part time. We know a lot of lot of people work at the casinos nights and weekends.”

Revel Casino and Hotel intends to close Sept. 10, while the Taj Mahal and Showboat casinos also plan to shut down.

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