South Jersey’s jobless-rate jump is nation’s largest

South Jersey’s job market, touted for its strong growth early last year, now stands out for the wrong reason, according to a new report from a federal agency.

The tri-county area in November had the largest over-the-year jobless rate increase of almost 40 metropolitan areas measured nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The local unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in November, up from 4.1 percent a year earlier, it said. South Jersey’s jobless rate was 4.8 percent in October.

The local counties looked a lot better in February 2017, when the BLS reported employment had grown here by 3.7 percent from a year earlier. That increase tied Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties with Dallas-Plano-Irving in Texas for first place in that month’s national ranking. Job growth declined here in subsequent months, however, falling to 0.8 percent in October. It rose to 1 percent in November, the first increase since February. November’s increase represented an over-the-year addition of about 5,400 jobs in the tri-county area, the BLS said. Employment growth for the tri-state area also measured 1 percent in November, the agency said.

Click here to view full article