Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Employers Began to Recall Workers in May


June 18, 2020

TRENTON – Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 86,800 in May to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,497,400, according to estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This gain represents a little over 10 percent of the number of jobs lost in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken in response to it.
All of the gains were recorded in the private sector (+92,200) of the state’s economy as public sector employment contracted (-5,400). The state’s unemployment rate declined by 1.1 percentage points to 15.2 percent, down from a revised 16.3 percent in April. It should be noted these estimates were based on surveys taken for the week including May 12, prior to the start of the relaxation of major measures that had been taken in response to the epidemic. See the technical notes at the end of this release for further information about the impact of the pandemic on this month’s estimates.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for April were revised higher by 1,500 to show an over-the-month (March – April) decrease of 756,200 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month loss of 757,700 jobs. These revisions mean that nonfarm employment losses for March and April totaled 831,300. The state’s revised April unemployment rate was revised higher by 1.0 percentage point to 16.3 percent.
In May, employment increases were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that recorded an increase include leisure and hospitality (+30,500), manufacturing (+18,500), trade, transportation, and utilities (+16,700), construction (+14,100), professional and business services (+5,800), other services (+4,600), education and health services (+3,400), and financial activities (+200). The only sector to record a loss over the month was information (-1,600). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 5,400, mainly due to losses at the local level (-7,000)
Preliminary BLS data for June will be released on July 16, 2020.


Technical Notes: For further information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on industry employment and unemployment estimates please visit:  https://www.bls.gov/cps/employment-situation-covid19-faq-may-2020.pdf
Frequently asked questions: The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on The Employment Situation for May 2020.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics June 5, 2020 1 Frequently asked questions:
The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Employment Situation for May 2020
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 business establishments 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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