General Business

Unemployment Rate Dips to 3.1% in September

New Jersey’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in September, moving lower for the sixth consecutive month, while job levels in the Garden State were essentially unchanged, according to estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate edged lower by 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.1 percent – the lowest monthly rate since state-level records began in 1976 – and remained below the national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state decreased by 200 to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,197,200.

Looking at the longer term, over the year, September 2018 – September 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 44,600 jobs, with gains recorded in both the private (+43,400) and public (+1,200) sectors of the New Jersey economy. Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private sector employers added 403,000 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for August was revised lower by 3,000 to show an over-the-month (July – August) decrease of 1,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month increase of 1,100 jobs. The state’s revised August unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent.

In September, employment increases were recorded in five out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that gained jobs include other services (+3,100), leisure and hospitality (+2,200), financial activities (+1,000), construction (+500), and manufacturing (+500). Industry sectors that lost jobs include professional and business services (-4,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,100), information (-800), and education and health services (-400). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 1,100 jobs, mainly at the state level (-900).

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