Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9%
TRENTON – Employment levels in New Jersey increased in April as employers added 11,800 jobs to their payrolls, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The April job gain was widespread across industries and represents the sixth monthly increase in the past seven months. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 0.2 percentage points over the month to 3.9 percent.
Total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased reached a seasonally adjusted level of 4,204,300 in April. Employment gains were recorded in both the private (+10,900) and public (+900) sectors of the state’s economy. Looking at the longer term, from April 2018 to April of this year, New Jersey employment increased by 56,300.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for March was revised higher by 2,700, to show an over-the-month (February – March) increase of 6,300 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month increase of 3,600 jobs. The state’s revised March unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent.
In April, employment gains were recorded in seven out of nine major private industry sectors. Over-the-month gains were recorded in the professional and business services (+4,500), leisure and hospitality (+4,100), education and health services (+1,800), other services (+1,500), manufacturing (+1,100), trade, transportation and utilities (+500), and information (+200) industry sectors. Job losses over the month were recorded in financial activities (-2,300) and construction (-400). Public sector employment was higher by 900 over the month, with small gains at the state (+600) and local (+400) levels.
Preliminary BLS data for May will be released on June 20.
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.