General Business

NJ Unemployment Rate Reaches New Low in June

Employment levels in the Garden State increased in June while the state’s unemployment rate fell to an historic monthly low, according to estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 3.5 percent — the lowest monthly rate since state-level records began in 1976 — and below the national unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.

Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state increased by 10,200 in June to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,204,600. Gains were realized in both the private (+9,600) and public (+600) sectors of the state’s economy.

Looking at the longer term, from June 2018 – June 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 47,600 jobs, with gains recorded in both the private (+45,400) and public (+2,200) sectors of the New Jersey economy. Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 410,900 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for May was revised higher by 600 to show an over-the-month (April – May) decrease of 7,000 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month decrease of 7,600 jobs. The state’s revised May unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8 percent.

In June, employment increases were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that added jobs were professional and business services (+3,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,600), manufacturing (+1,000), information (+800), education and health services (+800), construction (+700), leisure and hospitality (+600), and other services (+100). The financial services industry sector was unchanged over the month. Over the month, public sector employment was higher by 600 jobs.

Preliminary BLS data for July 2019 will be released on August 15, 2019.

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 (CPS), 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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