Jun-14-12 New Jersey Sees Largest Monthly Job Gain in More than Seven Years
Employers add 17,600 jobs in May
New Jersey’s economy has now added jobs in eight out of the last nine months, and the longer-term employment trend continues to be on the upswing. Over the year, May 2011 – May 2012, total nonfarm employment in New Jersey has increased by 59,800 jobs.
“We’re seeing sustained economic growth with continued job creation at a rate we haven’t experienced in the last decade,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “While our unemployment rate has ticked up slightly it is because growth in the labor force has outstripped population growth. We’re seeing continued confidence in our job market as our labor force participation rate keeps increasing, even outpacing the national rate.”
The state’s May unemployment rate edged slightly higher to 9.2 percent from April’s 9.1 percent. It should be noted that estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived at through the use of two different monthly surveys — the establishment survey for jobs and the household survey for unemployment — and can move in opposite directions.
The unemployment rate rise was due to an expanding state labor force as May saw an influx of new entrants and re-entrants to the state’s labor market. New Jersey’s rate is one percentage point above the national rate of 8.2 percent, which moved slightly higher in May from 8.1 percent in April.
Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey advanced considerably in May, up by 17,600 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted 3,907,500, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. Gains were registered in both the private (+12,900) and public (+4,700) sectors of the state’s economy.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released April estimates were revised slightly higher, up by 600 jobs, to show an over-the-month (March – April) total nonfarm employment gain of 3,200 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 2,600 jobs.
In May, private sector job gains were posted in six of ten industry sectors; three recorded losses while one was unchanged. The industry sector with the largest gain was leisure and hospitality, which added 9,900 jobs, boosted by greater than expected seasonal gains and by hiring at Revel Atlantic City, a new entertainment resort and hotel. Other industries that registered larger gains included trade, transportation and utilities (+4,300), professional and business services (+4,000) and education and health services (+3,000). In trade, transportation and utilities, gains were recorded in all three components; retail trade (+2,100), transportation and warehousing (+1,800) and wholesale trade (+400). The advance in professional and business services was due to hiring in the administrative support/waste management/remediation segment (+3,900) while the increase in education and health services was split among the educational services (+1,700) and the health care (+1,300) components.
The largest over-the-month loss occurred in the financial activities industry sector (-4,800), mainly due to cutbacks in the finance and insurance subsector (-3,400). Losses also occurred in construction (-3,900) and manufacturing (-1,200).
In May, public sector employment was higher by 4,700 due mainly to summer season hiring at the local (+3,800) and state (+1,400) government levels.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers decreased 0.2 hours to 41.1 hours, average hourly earnings were lower by $0.12 to $19.31 and weekly earnings fell by $8.82 to $793.64. Compared to May of last year, the unadjusted workweek increased by 1.1 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.19 and weekly earnings were higher by $28.84.
Press Release Tables
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 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).
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).
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.
Commissioner Harold J. Wirths (right) joined Governor Chris Christie and Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno in announcing that New Jersey had the largest job growth in May than any other month in more than seven years.