From the NJDOL:
TRENTON – Preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey decreased in December by 7,700 to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,890,000. Losses were recorded in both the private (-7,100) and public (-600) sectors of the state’s economy.
The state’s unemployment rate fell by 2.6 percentage points to 7.6 percent in December, primarily due to New Jersey residents leaving the labor force rather than finding employment.
The December data suggest that employment recovery from its pandemic-related April low point appears to have stalled in the 4th quarter of the year. New Jersey has regained a total of 479,400 jobs in the six months since April, or about 58 percent of jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken in response to it. However, since September, total employment has contracted by 2,100 jobs. See the technical notes at the end of this release for 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 November were revised higher by 1,400 to show an over-the-month (October – November) increase of 8,500 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 7,100 jobs. The state’s revised November unemployment rate was unchanged, remaining at 10.2 percent.
In December, employment decreases were recorded in only four out of nine major private sectors. Sectors that recorded employment decreases include leisure and hospitality (-8,900), financial activities (-1,900), education and health services (-1,600) and information (-1,300). Sectors that recorded employment increases include construction (+3,100), professional and business services (+2,900), manufacturing (+300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+200), and other services (+200). The public sector recorded a decrease of 600 jobs over the month.
Preliminary BLS data for January 2021 and benchmarked data, which will present a more complete picture of the New Jersey economy for the entire calendar year of 2020, will be released on March 15, 2021.
Technical Notes: For further information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on industry employment and unemployment estimates please visit: https://www.bls.gov/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-december-2020.htm
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.