New Jersey’s labor market grew slightly in December, adding 1,300 public sector jobs and 100 private sector jobs for a seasonally adjusted level of 4,265,700, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The statewide unemployment rate held steady at 3.4% in December, slightly below the national unemployment rate of 3.5%. A year ago, New Jersey’s jobless rate was 5.1%.

December’s modest job gains marked the 32nd consecutive month of job growth in the state, dating back to May of 2020. The state’s November preliminary employment estimates were also revised upward by 6,400 for an adjusted gain of 18,100 jobs between October and November.

Throughout 2022, private New Jersey businesses added 141,100 jobs, while the public sector added 7,800 during the same 12-month period.

In December, four out of nine major private industry sectors recorded job growth. They were education and health services (+4,400), trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,200), other services (+500), and information (+100). Sectors that recorded a loss for the month were construction (-3,400), professional and business services (-2,500), manufacturing (-500), financial activities (-400), and leisure and hospitality (-300).

For all of 2022, preliminary estimates show job growth in New Jersey was broad-based, with all but one of the nine major private industry sectors recording job gains.

The sectors that added jobs for the year were trade, transportation, and utilities (+38,700), education and health services (+38,200), leisure and hospitality (+37,600), other services (+15,600), professional and business services (+13,000), financial activities (+4,200), manufacturing (+2,400), and information (+300). Construction (-8,900) was the only sector to record a loss.