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The state’s unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point for the second consecutive month to 4.6% in May, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released on Thursday by state labor officials. 

Total nonfarm employment in New Jerey rose by 16,500 jobs to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,393,700. The strong rebound in May followed the revised loss of 8,100 jobs in April, state officials said. The revision did not affect the statewide unemployment rate for April, which remained unchanged at 4.7%. 

In May, seven out of nine private industries recorded month-over-month gains. These sectors include leisure and hospitality (+7,200); education and health services (+2,900); trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,700); other services (+900); manufacturing (+600); professional and business services (+500); and financial activities (+500).  

Public sector jobs increased by 1,800 for May. 

Private sector job losses in May include construction (-400) and information (-200). 

Over the past 12 months, New Jersey has added 80,200 nonfarm jobs. About 86% of those gains were in the private sector, with six out of nine private sector industries recording a gain between May 2023 and May 2024. 

These year-over-year job gains occurred in private education and health services (+40,000); trade, transportation, and utilities (+10,500); leisure and hospitality (+9,600); other services (+5,400); professional and business services (+3,900); and construction (+3,700).   

Losses were recorded year-over-year in information (-2,900), and manufacturing (-1,300), while financial activities recorded no change. The public sector has recorded a gain of 11,200 jobs over the past 12 months.