Region Adds Jobs in May

Last month's national employment report was a disappointment, but locally, the jobs picture is considerably better.

New Jersey added more jobs last month than at any time in the past seven years. The latest state report shows almost 17,600 people found work.

In New York City, 12,300 jobs were added, according to economist Barbara Byrne Denham of Eastern Consolidated. Both figures are seasonally adjusted. For the five boroughs, it was the third straight month with gains above 10,000.

Both NYC and NJ numbers have been seasonally adjusted to account for employment changes that are typical for this time of year.

It's a strong contrast with the nation's May employment report, which came in far below projections, at just 69,000 new jobs. Economists predicted about 150,000 new jobs would be created.

New Jersey's impressive May tally follows several months of mixed gains and losses. The opening of a large new hotel in Atlantic City is credited in part with strong hiring in the hospitality business. Retailers also added jobs.

Despite the job gains, both states saw the unemployment rate rise 0.10 percent to 8.6 percent in New York and 9.2 percent in New Jersey.

The jobless rate can sometimes increase even when hiring is strong, because more people out of work begin looking for jobs again and are then counted as unemployed.