General Business

New Jersey Employment Shows Modest Increase in August

New Jersey employers continued to add to their payrolls in August, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased for the fourth consecutive month in August, up by 1,600 jobs, to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,195,700. The state’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.2 percent for the month.

Looking at the longer-term, over-the-year August 2017 – August 2018, employment in New Jersey was higher by 61,500, with the majority of the gains recorded by private-sector employers (+59,600). Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private-sector employers have added 387,400 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for July were revised lower by 6,400 jobs to show an over-the-month (June – July) increase of 6,600 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 13,000 jobs. The state’s revised July unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.2 percent.

In August, employment increases were recorded in four out of nine major private-industry sectors. Industry sectors that added jobs over the month include trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,600), other services (+2,100), educational and health services (+1,100), and construction (+200). Job losses over the month occurred in the professional and business (-3,100), leisure and hospitality (-900), manufacturing (-500), information (-500), and financial activities (-300) industry sectors. Over the month, public-sector employment was higher by 900 jobs, mainly due to increases at the local level (+800).

Preliminary BLS data for September 2018 will be released on October 18, 2018.

Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived at through the use of two different monthly surveys.

Industry employment data are derived through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of approximately 4,000 New Jersey business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey).

Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the New Jersey portion of the national Current Population Survey (CS), a household survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey).

Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by the BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from New Jersey’s Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and more complete data from all New Jersey employers.

Effective with the release of January 2018 estimates, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) program has converted to concurrent seasonal adjustment, which uses all available estimates, including those for the current month, in developing seasonal factors. Previously, the CES program developed seasonal factors once a year during the annual benchmark process.  For more information on concurrent seasonal adjustment in the CES State and Area program, see www.bls.gov/sae/saeconcurrent.htm.

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