Unemployment Rate Edges Higher to 3.2 Percent
TRENTON – Hiring by New Jersey employers picked up in October while New Jersey’s unemployment rate edged higher for the month, according to estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state increased by 10,200 to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,205,800. The state’s unemployment rate edged higher by 0.1 of a percentage point to 3.2 percent for the month, remaining below the national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. The increase was due, in part, to more New Jersey residents entering the labor force seeking employment.
Looking at the longer term, over the year, October 2018 – October 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 30,200 jobs. Gains were recorded in the private sector (+32,400) of the New Jersey economy but losses were recorded in the public sector (-2,100). Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 414,100 jobs.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for September was revised lower by 1,600 to show an over-the-month (August – September) decrease of 1,800 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month decrease of 200 jobs. The state’s revised September unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.1 percent.
In October, employment increases were recorded in seven out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that gained jobs include leisure and hospitality (+5,900), education and health services (+2,300), other services (+2,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,900), professional and business services (+1,100), construction (+300), and information (+200). The manufacturing sector recorded a job loss for the month (-1,400), while the financial activities sector was unchanged. Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 2,100 jobs, mainly at the local level (-1,300).
Preliminary BLS data for November 2019 will be released on December 19, 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 businesses 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.