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Friday, August 17, 2012 12:48 AM

New Jersey Unemployment Hits 35-Year High of 9.8%; What Does That Suggest About Retail Sales?

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As I continue to ponder reported rising retail sales, I note that Bloomberg reports New Jersey Jobless Rate Increases to 35-Year High of 9.8%

New Jersey’s unemployment rate jumped to a 35-year high of 9.8 percent in July, the state Labor Department said.

The rate climbed from 9.6 percent in June and is above the national level of 8.3 percent, which also increased last month. New Jersey lost 12,000 jobs in July, with the largest drops in manufacturing, construction, and professional and business services, the department said in a statement today.

The last time it was 9.8 percent or higher was in April 1977, according to Labor Department data.
Retail Sales Rise?

On Wednesday, I wrote Retail Sales Rise? Not in California Where Sales Tax Collections Plunge Amazing 40% Year-Over-Year.

Now we see a big uptick in unemployment in New Jersey.

A couple of people pointed out that temporary sales tax hikes expired in California. However, that only accounts for 11% of the 40% decline. Moreover, California was down 33.5% vs. expectations.

Was California not aware of sales tax changes in their estimates?

The more data I look at, including unusual seasonal adjustments in retail sales suggests the recent reported rise will be revised much lower, if not wiped out entirely.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock
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