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).