Jan-19-11 Employment Falls in December; Unemployment Rate Edges Downward to 9.1 Percent
According to preliminary estimates, New Jersey total nonfarm wage and salary employment was down by 16,300 jobs in December, falling to a seasonally adjusted level of 3,828,000. Jobholding was lower in both the private (-13,300 jobs) and public (-3,000 jobs) sectors of the state's economy.
A preliminary over-the-year analysis shows that from December 2009 - December 2010, employment in New Jersey was lower by 30,700 jobs, the vast majority reflecting the separation of employees from public sector payrolls. Private sector employment was down by 1,600 jobs over the year. The 2010 data are in stark contrast with 2009 when New Jersey lost 121,100 private sector jobs while recording a job gain of 7,000 in the public sector.
It should be noted that the employment figures released each month are estimates from a sample-based survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and are subject to annual revisions. This required annual revision process, or benchmarking, incorporates more complete data from all New Jersey employers. The benchmarked data, which will provide a more accurate picture of the New Jersey economy for the entire calendar year 2010, will be released on March 10, 2011.
Previously released monthly estimates for November were revised higher by 2,400 jobs, based on more complete reporting from employers, resulting in an over-the-month (October-November) gain of 12,400 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated a gain of 10,000.
In December, eight of ten industry supersectors experienced a decline in employment. Industries with significant job losses included trade, transportation and utilities (-3,800), leisure and hospitality (-2,100), financial activities (-1,800), education and health services (-1,800), and professional and business services (-1,700). Smaller losses occurred in other services (-600) and information (-800). Only manufacturing (+200) and mining and logging (+100) added jobs over the month.
Public sector employment fell in December by 3,000 jobs, as all three levels of government recorded job losses, led by local government, which contracted by 2,100 jobs.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers decreased by 0.2 to 40.3 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.09 to $18.93 and weekly earnings were down by $0.14 to $762.88. Compared with December of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by 1.7 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.90 and weekly earnings were higher by $5.62. Note: 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 US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US 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). Through a Federal-State cooperative endeavor, the employment security agency in each state analyzes and publishes industry employment data reports detailing the CES data compiled by BLS, using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by BLS.
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 US Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the "household" survey). Through a Federal-State cooperative endeavor, the employment security agency of each state analyzes and publishes reports detailing the LAUS data compiled by BLS using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by BLS.
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.