Mar-18-13 New Jersey Employers Created 66,400 Jobs in 2012
Largest Growth Since 2000 Caps Three Years of Private Sector Gains
Total non-farm employment gains for 2012 were revised upward by 18,400 jobs, from 48,000 to 66,400jobs, as a result of annual benchmarking performed by the BLS. The over-the-year gain (December 2011 to December 2012) marks the largest total non-farm employment boost reported for the state since 2000. Private sector growth in 2012 also was the highest since 2000, according to the revised federal data.
The BLS adjustment resulted from an under-estimation of both private and public sector employment in 2012. The revised BLS data shows New Jersey grew 59,100 private sector jobs in 2012, up by 13,000 private sector jobs over the preliminary BLS estimates issued in January. The state has gained 117,600 private sector jobs since February 2010, the low point for private sector employment during the recession.
"The revised numbers provide further confirmation that New Jersey’s labor market has been strengthening. What we saw as firm job growth is now shown to have been even higher. The ongoing surge in the state’s labor force count shows that residents are increasingly willing to search for employment in this better environment," said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
The BLS benchmarking, an annual adjustment of state-by-state employment data, also revised the state’s unemployment rate downward for each of the last six months of 2012, settling at 9.5 percent in December. Preliminary monthly reports put the unemployment rate at 9.5 percent for January 2013, although employment in January increased by 3,000 private sector jobs, according to preliminary BLS estimates.
BENCHMARK REVISIONS FOR 2012
The BLS conducts annual benchmarking adjustments at this time of year for every state. The process re-anchors monthly, sample-based survey estimates to full-universe counts of employment, primarily derived from records of the unemployment insurance tax system. The BLS process revises the previously released nonfarm employment estimates, including those for 2012, to new employment benchmarks.
Results of the annual benchmarking adjustment showed that New Jersey employers added more jobs over the year, December 2011 to December 2012, than first estimated. The previously reported over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2012 showed a gain of 48,000 jobs. After benchmark revisions, the over-the-year change reveals that New Jersey’s employers added a more robust 66,400 jobs in 2012. This represents an upward adjustment of 18,400 jobs.
Preliminary estimates showed a gain of 46,100 private sector jobs while revised data show the gain to be 59,100. Public sector employment was originally estimated to show a small gain of 1,900 jobs in 2012 while revised estimates show an over-the-year gain of 7,300 jobs.
Overall, this year’s benchmark revision (based on unadjusted March 2012 data, the month which is used to re-anchor the estimates) was +0.2 percent. In comparison, national employment estimates for 2012 had a revision of +0.3 percent.
Six of the nine major private industry sectors of the New Jersey economy gained jobs over the December 2011 to December 2012 period. The largest gains were recorded in professional and business services (+22,700), education and health services (+16,400), trade, transportation and utilities (+10,600), leisure and hospitality (+7,400), other services (+4,400) and financial activities (+3,300). Industry sectors that contracted over the year included manufacturing (-2,100), construction (-2,000), and information (-1,500).
In the public sector, the job advance was primarily due to employment gains in local government (+6,800). Local government employment includes county, municipal and local government education workers.
Labor force estimates for New Jersey were also revised for 2012. While there were some monthly estimates that were revised higher and others lower, the overall average unemployment rate for the year was unchanged. For the year, unemployment averaged 9.5 percent with the monthly estimates fluctuating between 9.7 and 9.2 percent, not 9.9 and 9.0 percent as initially reported.
JANUARY 2013 ESTIMATES
For the most recent month, January 2013, nonfarm wage and salary preliminary estimates show that total employment increased by 2,600 jobs to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,934,800. That increase represents a growth of 3,000 private sector jobs and a drop in public employment by 400 jobs. The BLS reported the state’s preliminary unemployment rate for January to be at 9.5 percent. The BLS benchmarking had revised the December 2012 unemployment rate from a preliminary 9.6 percent to 9.5 percent.
Employment and unemployment estimates for February will be released on March 28, 2013.
In January, private sector employment gains were recorded in the trade, transportation and utilities (+5,800), construction (+2,600), manufacturing (+2,400), and other services (+500) industry sectors. Industry sectors that registered job loss included professional and business services (-3,400), education and health services (-1,700), leisure and hospitality (-1,700), information (-1,000) and financial activities (-500).
Public sector employment in January was lower by 400 as contraction at the state government level (-2,800) outpaced gains at the local (+2,500) government level.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for production workers decreased by2.4 to 39.8 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.36 to $18.84 and weekly earnings were down by $60.41 to $749.83. Compared with January of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by 1.3 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by $0.60 and weekly earnings were lower by $49.15.
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