Thousands of jobs lost in N.J. in March, including losses in the trades

By Erin O'Neill | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
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on April 16, 2015

New Jersey shed 6,400 jobs in March, according to new federal data, with the biggest losses posted in trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services.

The state's unemployment rate ticked up last month as well, increasing to 6.5 percent, the preliminary data released by the state labor department on Thursday shows. That's up from 6.4 percent in February.

New Jersey lost 5,800 private sector jobs and 600 public sector jobs in March, the data shows.

Job losses were posted in five of the nine major private-industry sectors, with trade, transportation and utilities taking the biggest hit at a loss of 4,600 jobs. Professional and business services shed 3,000 jobs and the construction industry contracted by 2,300 jobs.

The industries that experienced job growth in March include manufacturing, which added 2,800 jobs, and education and health services, which tacked on 800 jobs.

The job losses in March follow gains made in February, while preliminary data showed the state added 6,200 jobs in February, those figures have now been revised upward by more than 2,000.

New Jersey has added 48,800 jobs over the last year, according to the March data, with 44,800 of those positions in the private sector and 4,000 in the public sector.

The state's unemployment rate, which is measured by a different federal survey than the jobs data, stood at 6.5 percent in March. That's down from 6.8 percent a year ago.

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