General Business

NJ Employers Add to Payrolls for 5th Straight Month in May

Unemployment Rate Falls

Preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased in May by 13,600 jobs to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,915,400. May marks the fifth consecutive month of job growth in the Garden State.

The gains were concentrated in the private sector (+12,600) of the state’s economy. New Jersey has now recovered 403,000 jobs, or about 56% of the number lost in March and April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken in response to it. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage point in May to 7.2%.

See the technical notes at the end of this release for further information about the impact of the coronavirus on this month’s employment estimates.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for April were revised higher to show an over-the-month (March – April) increase of 4,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 3,900 jobs. The revised April unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.5%.

In May, employment increases were recorded in seven out of nine major private sectors. Sectors that recorded employment increases include leisure and hospitality (+6,200); trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,000); education and health services (+2,500); professional and business services (+1,500); other services (+1,000); manufacturing (+800); and information (+200). Employment decreases were recorded in the construction (-2,200) and financial activities (-400) sectors. Over the month, public sector employment increased by 1,000 jobs.

It should be noted that the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions on New Jersey businesses occurred late in May, after completion of the survey week, and as such the impact of reopening on employment levels are anticipated to be more evident in next month’s reporting.

Preliminary BLS data for June 2021 will be released on July 15.

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