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New Jersey employers added 15,800 jobs in April to reach a seasonally adjusted employment level of 4,332,300, and the jobless rate held steady at 3.5%, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Thursday by state labor officials.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is 0.1% above the national unemployment rate, which fell to a 53-year low of 3.4% in April, according to the BLS. The BLS is scheduled to release its full report on the April unemployment rates in all 50 states on Friday.

New Jersey’s job gains occurred entirely in the private sector, which recorded a month-over-month increase of 15,900 jobs while the public sector shed 100 jobs for the month.

The labor force participation rate also edged up, reaching 65.0% in April, the highest rate since June 2013. The labor force participation rate, on a seasonally adjusted basis, was 64.8% the month prior and 63.7% a year ago in April 2022.

The March preliminary employment estimates were revised upward by 5,400, for a gain of 2,800 jobs from February to March. Preliminary estimates had indicated a loss of 2,600. The March unemployment rate remained at 3.5% percent.

In April, seven out of nine major private industry sectors experienced job growth. Sectors that recorded employment increases were professional business services (+7,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,600), education and health services (+2,700), leisure and hospitality (+1,200), financial activities (+600), construction (+300), and other services (+200).

Sectors that recorded a loss were information (-300) and manufacturing (-100).

Over the past year, New Jersey has added 99,100 nonfarm jobs. These gains were distributed across industries, with eight out of nine major private industry sectors recording job gains.

The industries recording year-over-year gains were education and health services (+45,400), leisure and hospitality (+25,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,100), professional and business services (+5,500), other services (+4,000), construction (+3,800), manufacturing (+3,700), and information (+1,400).

The only private sector industry to record a loss from April 2022 to April 2023 was financial activities (-200). Year-over-year, the state’s public sector added 1,700 jobs.