Aug-16-12 Preliminary Numbers Show Employment Shift in July While Long Term Trend Remains Positive
TRENTON, August 16, 2012 – While the long-term employment trend continues to be positive, preliminary numbers show that employment in New Jersey shifted lower in July and the unemployment rate edged upward. However, overall private sector employers in the Garden State have added 79,000 jobs since February 2010, which was the low point of private sector employment during the recession.
Over the year, July 2011 – July 2012, total nonfarm employment in New Jersey increased by 40,200 jobs.
“The national economy has been sluggish and, realistically, we can’t be exempt. Given the national softness and the strength of our job gains in May and June some fallback was likely,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury. “Still, New Jersey’s labor force participation rate and the percentage of our population who are employed remain above the national averages. Considering we have seen job growth in 9 out of the past 11 months, we anticipate that job growth should resume and start to put some downward pressure on unemployment.”
The state’s unemployment rate moved up in July, by 0.2 percentage point, to 9.8 percent, remaining above the national rate, which also edged up, by 0.1, to 8.3 percent in July. Preliminary estimates indicate total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey decreased in July, down by 12,000 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted 3,899,600, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. Job loss was registered in both the private (-7,100) and public (-4,900) sectors of the state’s economy.
The job gain from April to June was still the largest two-month gain witnessed in 12 years. However, based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released June estimates were revised lower, down by 2,600 jobs, to show an over-the-month (May – June) total nonfarm employment gain of 7,300 jobs. Preliminary estimates indicated an over-the-month gain of 9,900 jobs
In July, job loss was recorded in five of ten private industry sectors; four recorded gains while one was unchanged. The industry sector with the largest drop was professional and business services, which fell by 3,900 jobs, due to cutbacks in the administrative support/waste management and remediation segment (-4,600). Other industries that registered larger losses included manufacturing (-3,000) and construction (-2,700). The decline in manufacturing was due to contraction in the nondurable goods component (-3,500) while the loss in construction is reflective of a longer-term trend that has seen employment in this sector fall by 8,200 over the past year. Smaller losses occurred in financial activities (-400) and information (-300).
The largest over-the-month gain occurred in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (+1,600), mainly due to advances in the transportation and warehousing (+1,900) and wholesale trade (+800) subsectors. Smaller gains occurred in other services (+600), education and health services (+500), and leisure and hospitality (+500).
In July, public sector employment was down by 4,900 due to the trimming of payrolls at all three levels of government: federal (-300), state (-2,400) and local (-2,200).
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers decreased 0.5 hours to 41.2 hours, average hourly earnings were higher by $0.39 to $19.57 and weekly earnings rose by $6.47 to $806.28. Compared to July of last year, the unadjusted workweek increased by 0.8 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.67, and weekly earnings were higher by $42.72.
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.