TRENTON – 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.
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.