Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Payrolls Continue Rebound in July


August 20, 2020

TRENTON – Estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 129,900 in July to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,751,900. All of the gain was recorded in the private (+146,700) sector of the state’s economy. New Jersey has now regained a total of 341,300 jobs in the three months since a low point in April, or 41 percent of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and shutdown measures taken in response to contain it. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 3.0 percentage points in July to 13.8 percent. See the technical notes at the end of this release for further information about the impact of the coronavirus on this month’s employment estimates.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for June were revised lower by 8,400 to show an over-the-month (May – June) increase of 122,500 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 130,900. The state’s revised June unemployment rate was revised higher by 0.2 percentage point to 16.8 percent.

In July, job gains were recorded all nine major private industry sectors. In order of job gains recorded over the month, the industries were leisure and hospitality (+46,800), trade, transportation, and utilities (+35,000), other services (+23,400), professional and business services (+19,400), education and health services (+16,000), construction (+2,400), financial activities (+2,300), information (+1,000), and manufacturing (+300). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 16,800, with the losses concentrated at the local government level (-12,300).

Preliminary BLS data for August will be released on September 17, 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/covid19/employment-situation-covid19-faq-july-2020.htm

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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