Private-sector job gains continue in N.J.

Private-sector employment in New Jersey is up for the sixth straight month.

Employers in the Garden State added 1,800 jobs in July with a gain of 3,900 jobs in the private sector more than offsetting a decline of 2,100 government positions.

The biggest advance was in the construction industry, which added 2,200 workers last month, the most in more than five years.

N.J. Treasury Department chief economist Charles Steindel said the state is seeing year-over-year job growth for the first time since 2008.

“Obviously, we’re concerned about the implications of all the financial turmoil. We hope we’ll get through that,” Steindel said. “We expect to see employment continue to grow around the state and hopefully it will be enough to make a dent in unemployment.”

Even with the job gains, New Jersey’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month at 9.5 percent.

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