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    NJ employment numbers show movement in public sector

    New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell last month, but it’s still higher than the national average.

    New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell last month, but it’s still higher than the national average.

    The state Labor Department says the jobless rate in the Garden State dipped slightly to 9.8 percent in March. That’s still a tenth of a point above the national rate.

    A separate surveyed shows employment fell by 3,100 jobs with most of the losses in the public sector.

    James Hughes, the Dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, expects more government job losses in coming months.

    Hughes:
    The contraction in state aid to municipalities and school systems is going to translate into a shrinking public sector. I mean there’s no way to avoid that because the revenue is just not found, is not available really, to prohibit that from happening.

    Hughes says private sector job losses will moderate as the economy recovers, but he says it may be years before we get back to a healthy labor market with a low rate of unemployment.

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