General Business

New Jersey Employment Records Modest Gain in March

New Jersey’s total nonfarm wage and salary employment rose modestly in March, increasing by 3,600 jobs to mark the fifth monthly increase in the last six months, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Jersey reached a seasonally adjusted employment of 4,189,800. The state’s unemployment rate ticked higher by 0.1 percentage point in March to 4.1 percent.

All of the gains for the month occurred in the private sector of the state’s economy, which added 4,400 jobs. Public sector employment was lower by 800 jobs for the month, with all of the contraction occurring at the local government level.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for February was revised higher by 2,600 to show an over-the-month (January – February) decrease of 5,100 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month decrease of 7,700 jobs. The state’s revised February unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.0 percent.

In March, employment increases were recorded in five out of nine major private industry sectors. Over-the-month gains were recorded in the education and health services (+3,200), professional and business services (+2,300), construction (+1,300), other services (+600), and manufacturing (+300) industry sectors. Job losses over the month were recorded in leisure and hospitality (-1,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,300), and information (-100). Employment in the financial activities sector was unchanged.

Looking at the longer term, over the year, March 2018 – March 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 44,800 jobs, with gains recorded in both the private (+42,000) and public (+2,800) sectors of the New Jersey economy. Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 398,700 jobs.

Preliminary BLS data for April 2019 will be released on May 16, 2019.

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