Preliminary monthly estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that New Jersey’s total nonfarm employment increased by 6,500 jobs in December, to reach a seasonally adjusted total of 4,218,100.
The state’s unemployment rate edged up a tenth of a percentage point to 3.5 percent as more New Jersey residents entered the labor market in search of employment.
A preliminary over-the-year analysis shows that from December 2018 through December 2019, New Jersey employers added 39,000 workers to their payrolls. All of the gains were recorded by private sector employers (+41,400) as public sector employment declined by 2,400. Last year (2019) represents the 10th consecutive year that New Jersey has recorded private sector job growth -- since February 2010 (the recessionary low point for private sector employment), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 426,300 jobs.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for November was revised lower by 1,300 to show an over-the-month (October – November) increase of 5,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month increase of 7,200 jobs. The state’s revised November unemployment rate remains unchanged at 3.4 percent.
Four major private industry sectors recorded employment increases in December. Industry sectors that added jobs over the month include leisure and hospitality (+3,400), professional and business services (+2,700), trade, transportation, and utilities (+1,200), and education and health services (+200). Industries that recorded a decrease over the month include construction (-600), manufacturing (-500), financial activities (-400), other services (-200), and information (-100). Over the month, public sector employment was higher by 800 jobs.