May-15-14 New Jersey Unemployment Rate Falls To 6.9 Percent
Lowest Level Since Fall 2008
TRENTON, May 15, 2014 – New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in April, its lowest level since the fall of 2008, as Garden State employers added 4,500 workers to their payrolls, according to preliminary data released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The state’s unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points over the month, from March’s 7.2 percent to 6.9 percent in April, as job gains were recorded in both the private (+3,300) and public (+1,200) sectors of the state’s economy to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,932,400, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey. Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment, private sector employment has increased by 125,700 jobs.
“The strong gain in resident employment and the increase in the labor force, along with the drop in the unemployment rate, indicates that the labor market continues to heal. We appear to be starting some progress on the job front after the recent soft months,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released estimates from the BLS were revised higher, up by 1,000 jobs, to show a slight increase in private sector employment that month of 300 jobs. The over-the-month (February – March) loss of 600 public sector jobs remained unchanged, showing a total nonfarm employment loss of 300 jobs for March, not 1,300 jobs as the preliminary BLS data initially indicated.
In April, private sector job growth was posted in five of nine major industry sectors, including leisure and hospitality (+3,200), trade, transportation and utilities (+1,800), professional and business services (+1,500), education and health services (+200), and financial activities (+200). Industries that saw job contraction included construction (-2,800), manufacturing (-600), and information (-200).
Over the month, public sector employment was higher by 1,200. Modest gains were recorded at all three levels of government: federal (+400), state (+600), and local (+200).
The three month average of preliminary and revised BLS data for New Jersey from February through April 2014 indicates a 7.1 percent average unemployment rate, with average monthly dips of 200 in total nonfarm jobs.
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.