Department of Labor & Workforce Development

NJ Gains 12K Jobs in August; Unemployment Rate Inches Higher


September 14, 2023

TRENTON – New Jersey’s total nonfarm employment grew by 12,300 jobs in August, reaching a seasonally adjusted level of 4,342,200, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Private sector job growth remained steady for the month at 6,700, while the state’s unemployment rate increased to 4.2 percent due to more residents joining the labor force and fewer residents being employed.

Estimates of total nonfarm employment in July were revised downward by 5,200 jobs, for a June-to-July loss of 4,200. The unemployment rate for July was unchanged at 3.9 percent.

In August, gains in the private sector were broad, with seven out of nine major private industry sectors recording job growth: leisure and hospitality (+1,700), professional and business services (+1,500), education and health services (+1,400), other services (+1,100), manufacturing (+800), information (+600), and financial activities (+400). Sectors recording losses were trade, transportation, and utilities (-400) and construction (-400). The public sector recorded a seasonally adjusted gain of 5,600 jobs, focused at the local level (+5,400).

Over the past 12 months, New Jersey has added 67,300 nonfarm jobs. These gains were distributed across several industries, with seven out of nine private sector industries recording gains between July 2022 and July 2023: Education and health services (+45,600), leisure and hospitality (+13,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (+4,100), construction (+3,100), other services (+2,900), manufacturing (+1,200), and information (+700). Losses were recorded in professional and business services (-14,000) and financial activities (-1,700). Year-over-year, the state’s public sector recorded an increase of 11,700 jobs.

Preliminary estimates for September will be released on October 19, 2023.


Technical Notes: 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 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 https://www.bls.gov/sae/seasonal-adjustment/.

  Go back to all press releases