Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Employment Expands in November


December 19, 2019

TRENTON – New Jersey employers added to their payrolls in November while the state’s unemployment rate moved higher, according to estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state increased by 7,200 to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 4,212,900. The state’s unemployment rate moved higher by 0.2 percentage point to 3.4 percent for the month, as more New Jerseyans entered the labor force in search of employment. The Garden State’s unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 3.5 percent. Those who are neither employed nor actively seeking work are considered not in the labor force. When these persons initially return to the labor force by starting a job search they are counted as unemployed, which can cause the unemployment rate to increase.

Looking at the longer term, over the year, November 2018 – November 2019, employment in New Jersey was higher by 34,300 jobs. Gains recorded in the private sector (+36,400) of the New Jersey economy were tempered somewhat by contraction in the public sector (-2,100). Since February 2010 (the low point of the last recession), New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 421,900 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released total nonfarm employment estimate for October was revised lower by 100 to show an over-the-month (September – October) gain of 10,100 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 10,200 jobs. The state’s revised October unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.2 percent.

In November, employment increases were recorded in five out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that gained jobs include leisure and hospitality (+3,800), trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,300), manufacturing (+2,300), education and health services (+1,000), and financial activities (+700).  Sectors that recorded a job loss include other services (-1,000), information (-800), construction (-700), and professional and business services (-600). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 800 jobs.

Preliminary BLS data for December 2019 will be released on January 23, 2020.


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.

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