Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Added 52,400 Jobs in 2019


March 16, 2020

TRENTON – The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) revised employment data for 2019 shows that New Jersey added 13,400 more jobs than previously estimated, for a total of 52,400 jobs for the year. The gains continued in January, with 14,100 new nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary BLS estimates.

The BLS benchmark process, a required annual review and adjustment of previously released employment, re-anchors monthly, sample-based survey estimates to full-universe counts of employment, primarily derived from records of the unemployment insurance tax system. The results of the latest benchmarking adjustment process — conducted by BLS each year at this time for every state — shows a greater overall rate of growth in 2019 than originally estimated.

After benchmark revisions, the over-the-year (Dec. 2018 – Dec. 2019) change in total nonfarm jobs was revised to a gain of 52,400, up from a previously reported gain of 39,000. Preliminary data had overestimated the number of jobs in the first half of the year, and underestimated them in the second half. Last year marks the ninth consecutive year of annual December to December job growth in New Jersey.

The revised data show that over the December 2018 – December 2019 period, seven of nine major private industry sectors of the New Jersey economy added jobs. Job gains were recorded in education and health services (+14,800), professional and business services (+14,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,900), leisure and hospitality (+7,200), other services (+2,200), manufacturing (+800), and construction (+600). Sectors that recorded job losses over the year were information (-1,800) and financial activities (-400). Government employment was higher by 5,700 jobs.

Labor force estimates for New Jersey were also revised. After benchmarking, the state averaged an annual unemployment rate of 3.6 percent for 2019, as estimated. This is down from 4.1 percent for 2018. New Jersey’s rate was below the annual national rate of 3.7 percent for 2019.

Monthly Data for January

New Jersey employers added to their payrolls in January while the state’s unemployment rate ticked up over the month, according to the BLS.

Preliminary nonfarm wage and salary estimates for January 2020 show an increase in total nonfarm employment of 14,100 jobs over the month, reaching a seasonally adjusted level of 4,240,500. Most of the gain was recorded in the private sector of the state’s economy (+12,500). The state’s unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage point to 3.8 percent as more New Jersey residents entered the labor market in search of employment.

Industry sectors that recorded over-the-month job growth for January included professional and business services (+3,700), education and health services (+3,400), trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,500), construction (+2,000), leisure and hospitality (+1,000), manufacturing (+600), and other services (+200). Sectors that recorded a job losses included financial activities (-500) and information (-400). Government employment was higher by 1,600 over the month.

Preliminary BLS data for February 2020 will be released on March 26, 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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