Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.5 Percent in April
Employers report fewer jobs over the month; March estimates revised higher
TRENTON, May 17, 2018 – Following three consecutive months of gains, New Jersey employers reported fewer jobs in April as the unemployment rate edged lower by 0.1 percentage point to 4.5 percent.
Total nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased by 7,200 in April to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,174,300, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The majority of the decline occurred in the private sector (-6,200) of the state’s economy.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for March were revised higher by 1,200 jobs to show an over-the-month (February–March) increase of 6,300 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 5,100 jobs.
Looking at the longer term, April 2017–April 2018, employment in New Jersey was higher by 58,600 jobs, with the majority of the gains recorded by private-sector employers (+55,600). New Jersey’s private-sector employers added 368,800 jobs since the February 2010 low point of the recession.
In April, employment decreases were recorded in five out of nine major private-industry sectors. Industry sectors that lost jobs over the month include professional and business services (-4,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (-2,000), financial activities (-2,000), leisure and hospitality (-400), and information (-300). Job gains over the month occurred in the manufacturing (+1,100), construction (+700), education and health services (+500), and other services (+300) sectors. Public-sector employment was lower by 1,000 jobs over the month.
Preliminary BLS data for May 2018 will be released on June 14, 2018.
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.