Department of Labor & Workforce Development

New Jersey Employment Increases in November


December 17, 2020

TRENTON – New Jersey private sector employers added to their payrolls in November for the seventh consecutive month while employment in the public sector moved lower. Estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey increased by 7,100 in November to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,896,300. The gains were recorded in the private sector (+9,700) of the state’s economy while employment in the public sector fell by 2,600.

New Jersey has now regained a total of 485,700 jobs in the six months since April, or about 58 percent of the jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and measures taken in response to it. The state’s unemployment rate increased by 2.2 percentage points to 10.2 percent in November, mainly due to New Jersey residents re-entering the labor force seeking employment over the month. 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 October were revised higher by 2,300 to show an over-the-month (September – October) decrease of 2,900 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month loss of 5,200 jobs. The state’s October unemployment rate was revised lower to 8.0 percent.

In November, employment increases were recorded in six out of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that recorded job gains include trade, transportation, and utilities (+14,300), education and health services (+2,900), financial activities (+2,100), information, (+900), manufacturing (+600), and professional and business services (+500). Sectors that recorded job losses include leisure and hospitality (-6,400), construction (-3,800), and other services (-1,400). The public sector recorded a decrease of 2,600 over the month, concentrated at the federal level (-2,700).

Preliminary BLS data for December will be released on January 21, 2021.


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-november-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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