New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent in October, matching the national unemployment rate. But the state still lost 2,200 jobs that month.
The biggest declines came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which lost 3,300 jobs, and manufacturing, which lost 1,700 jobs.
Economists say the state’s job market continues to be flat. Over the past five months, the nation has added 727,000 jobs, while New Jersey added none. Since the state includes 3 percent of the nation’s work force, it should have gained 22,000 jobs during October.
Confidence in the state’s economy and business climate has plunged to the lowest level in more than a decade, according to the 2007 outlook survey by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.