Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Employers Continue to Hire in August


September 17, 2020

TRENTON – Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 66,000 in August to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,820,000, according to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday.

New Jersey has now regained a total of 409,400 jobs in the four months since April, or about 49 percent of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken in response to it. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 3.3 percentage points over the month to 10.9 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 July were revised higher by 2,100 to show an over-the-month (June – July) increase of 132,000 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 129,900. The state’s July unemployment rate was revised higher by 0.4 percentage point to 14.2 percent.

In August, job gains were recorded in seven out of nine private industry sectors. Industries that recorded a job gain include education and health services (+12,200), leisure and hospitality (+10,500), trade, transportation, and utilities (+10,200), other services (+7,300), financial activities (+1,700), manufacturing (+1,400), and information (+1,100). Professional and business services (-800) and construction (-300) recorded job losses for August. Over the month, public sector employment was higher by 22,800. Gains at the local level (+12,200) were due to increases in the local education component while the increase in federal employment (+6,600) coincides with the hiring of temporary workers by the U.S. Census Bureau to complete the 2020 Census.

Preliminary BLS data for September will be released on October 15, 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-august-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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