New Jersey’s Unemployment Rate Falls to Lowest Since 2008

New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell below 7 percent for the first time since November 2008, according to its Labor Department.

The rate dropped to 6.9 percent in April from 7.2 percent in March, according to the department, which cited preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national level slid to 6.3 percent from 6.7 percent. New Jersey added 4,500 jobs last month, after gaining 300 in March and losing 4,800 in February.

“We appear to be starting some progress on the job front after the recent soft months,” Charles Steindel, chief economist for the New Jersey Treasury Department, said in a statement today.

Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for New Jersey’s private employment, businesses have added 125,700 jobs, about half those lost during the slump. New Jersey won’t recover all those jobs until 2018 as its rebound trails the nation’s, Nancy Mantell, director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, said this month. The New Brunswick-based service, part of Rutgers University, provides tools to analyze the New Jersey economy.

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