Total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased in New Jersey in December by 10,100 jobs, to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,073,600, according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points, to 6.3 percent, for the month.
The December employment gains were largely concentrated in the private sector (+9,400) of the state’s economy. New Jersey has now recovered 561,200 jobs, or about 78 percent of the number lost in March and April 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As New Jersey continued its recovery, monthly job growth averaged about 17,300 jobs in calendar year 2021. See the technical notes at the end of this release for further information about the impact of the coronavirus on this month’s employment estimates, and the note on the upcoming annual benchmark revisions.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for November were revised higher to show an over-the-month (October – November) increase of 28,400 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month increase of 25,800 jobs. The state’s November unemployment rate was revised up by 0.1 percentage point, to 6.7 percent.
In December, employment gains were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that increased were leisure and hospitality (+3,800), manufacturing (+2,700), construction (+1,900), education and health services (+600), other services (+600), financial activities (+500), trade, transportation, and utilities (+100), and professional and business services (+100). The only sector to record a loss over the month was information (-900). The public sector recorded an increase of 700 jobs over the month.
Preliminary estimates for January 2022 and benchmarked data, which will present a more complete picture of the New Jersey labor market for the entire calendar year of 2021, will be released on March 14. NJDOL does not issue a monthly release in February while awaiting this more complete data.