Mar-27-14 Unemployment Rate at 7.1 Percent in February
The BLS revised its preliminary January data upward by 8,100 jobs, showing that rather than employment losses, New Jersey had a positive start for 2014, with private sector employers adding 6,300 jobs. Initial reports for January had indicated both private and public sector employers cut back employment. The preliminary report BLS released for February indicates total nonfarm jobs dropped by 3,700.
Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment, private sector employment has increased by 123,200 jobs.
“The winter has clearly affected the state’s job market—the February count, especially in a sector like leisure and hospitality, was probably held down by the big storm around Valentine’s Day. The large and welcome upward revision for January suggests that in these conditions the preliminary numbers may be less reliable than usual. We anticipate that the numbers should get better with the weather,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released January estimates were revised higher, by 8,100 jobs to show an over-the-month (December 2013 – January 2014) total nonfarm employment gain of 4,200 jobs. Preliminary estimates had initially indicated an over-the-month loss of 3,900 jobs.
Preliminary estimates for February indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey dipped to a seasonally adjusted 3,929,300, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey. The contraction was concentrated in the private sector (-4,900) of the state’s economy and may have resulted from the extraordinarily severe winter weather the state experienced during the month.
New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 10,400 jobs over the past year (February 2013 – February 2014).
In February, private sector job gains were posted in four of nine major industry sectors. Industries that registered gains included trade, transportation, and utilities (+3,400), professional and business services (+2,700), information (+1,000), and education and health services (+200). Job losses occurred in leisure and hospitality (-4,800), financial activities (-3,200), construction (-2,000) other services (-1,800) and manufacturing (-200).
Over the month, public sector employment was higher by 1,200, led by gains at the federal (+500) and local government (+800) levels. 7
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 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 BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from New Jersey’s Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and other data.
It should be noted that the employment figures released each month are estimates from a sample-based survey of approximately 5,000 New Jersey business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to annual revisions. The required annual review process, or benchmarking that is announced early March of each year, incorporates more complete data from all New Jersey employers.