Sometimes, you put two employment reports up against each other and you just want to cry. That happened to me on Thursday when I looked at the jobs report from New Jersey and ran the results against a new survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the Chicago company that helps unemployed people find jobs.
So, in one report, the monthly jobs report from New Jersey's Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Jersey's May numbers are looking better and better, considering the state had lagged behind the nation in job recovery. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, the lowest in four years. The private sector added 15,400 jobs, bringing total private sector employment up to 3,337,100. That's 145,000 private sector jobs added since lowest point in the economic downturn for private sector hiring -- February 2010, when there were 3,192,000 jobs.
So, we'll give New Jersey chief economist Charles Steindel a moment to brag, before we mix these results with the other report and some other statistics. "New Jersey's labor market is clearly getting healthier, with continuing gains in employment and jobs, and the unemployment rate on a downtrend," he said in a press release.
Now here's the other statistic: At the height of employment, before the most recent and devastating recession kicked in, there were 3,436,300 people working in the private sector. That was in February 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.