Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Employment Increases in September


September 17, 2020

TRENTON – Estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 60,200 in September to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,878,200. Gains were recorded in both the private (+42,600) and public (+17,600) sectors of the state’s economy. New Jersey has now regained a total of 467,600 jobs in the five months since April, or about 56 percent of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken in response to it. In comparison, the nation has recovered 52 percent. The state’s unemployment rate fell by 4.4 percentage points to 6.7 percent, moving below the national rate of 7.9 percent. The drop was due to workers leaving the labor force altogether and not to gains in employment. Revisions to monthly estimates and again at the end of the year during annual processing may be expected. See the technical notes at the end of this release for 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 August were revised lower by 2,000 to show an over-the-month (July – August) increase of 64,000 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 66,000 jobs. The state’s August unemployment rate was revised higher by 0.2 percentage point to 11.1 percent. 

In September, employment increases were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that recorded employment increases include leisure and hospitality (+18,800), trade, transportation, and utilities (+7,700), professional and business services (+4,900), education and health services (+3,800), other services (+2,900), construction (+2,500), financial activities (+1,300), and manufacturing (+800). Sectors that recorded a decrease include information (-100). The public sector recorded an increase of 17,600 over the month, mainly due to increases at the local level (+22,600). 

Preliminary BLS data for October will be released on November 19, 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-september-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.

  Go back to all press releases