New Jersey Regains Half of Recession Employment Losses

New Jersey has regained 123,200 jobs under Governor Chris Christie, about half of the number lost in the recession that began in December 2007, according to state Labor Department data.

The Garden State lost 3,700 jobs in February, after gaining 6,300 in the first month of the year. January’s job count was revised from initial reports that indicated a drop of 3,900 positions. New Jersey’s unemployment rate remained at 7.1 percent in February, down from 8.8 percent a year earlier, according to the data.

“The February count, especially in a sector like leisure and hospitality, was probably held down by the big storm around Valentine’s Day,” Charles Steindel, the state’s chief economist, said March 27 in a statement. “The large and welcome upward revision for January suggests that in these conditions, the preliminary numbers may be less reliable than usual.”

Neighboring New York gained back all of the jobs it lost in the slump by 2012. Its unemployment rate is 6.8 percent. The national jobless level was 6.7 percent in February.

Christie, a 51-year-old Republican who won a second term in November, has cut business taxes and awarded companies tax incentives to create jobs. Democrats, who control the legislature, have said he isn’t doing enough.

To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Trenton at tdopp@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net Stacie Sherman, Pete Young

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