NEWARK, NJ (WCBS 880) — It’s no real surprise that a report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. lists the Garden State as has having the region’s highest number of upcoming job cuts announced in July.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

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Pharmaceuticals led other industries with 13,493 job cuts in July, according to the report.

New Jersey’s pharmaceutical companies are also expected to cut the most jobs in the region due to recent mergers.

The report stated that most of July’s pharmaceutical layoffs, 13,000 of them, are from a “multi-year reduction in force” announced by Merck & Co.

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“Just going through a significant merger and job cuts are part of that merger process,” said Rutgers economics professor Joseph Seneca about Merck.

But Seneca says the job outlook is not all bad in the Garden State.

“Jersey is still a major pharmaceutical employer, employment center and headquarters center,” he said.

Seneca also says private sector jobs are up about 38,000 jobs since January, but says overall, it’s still looking like a slow recovery.

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