Jun-19-2014 New Jersey's Unemployment Rate Drop To 6.8 Percent Lowest Since November 2008
TRENTON, June 19, 2014 _ New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 6.8 percent in May, the lowest since November 2008, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data that showed, while employment was essentially unchanged in May, private sector job growth was far more significant in April than initially reported.
The Garden State’s private sector gained 7,000 jobs in April, rather than the 3,300 jobs preliminarily reported, according to BLS data that showed a dip of 200 private sector jobs in May. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment decreased slightly in New Jersey in May, with job contraction occurring mainly in the public sector (-1,300), to reach a seasonally adjusted level of 3,934,600, as measured by the BLS through its monthly employer survey.
“While not every month sees a gain, the job situation seems to be gradually improving with the noticeably upward revision in the April numbers and the survey of households showing pretty impressive gains. Nearly 30,000 more state residents were reported to be working in May than in March, and the total count of residents at work is the highest since the start of 2009. The two month gain in the labor force is also pretty strong, nearly 15,000,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment in New Jersey, private sector employment has increased by 129,200 jobs.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released April estimates were revised higher, up by 3,700 jobs, all in the private sector. The BLS revisions show an over-the-month (March – April) total nonfarm employment gain of 8,200 jobs, instead of the over-the-month increase of 4,500 jobs indicated by preliminary estimates.
A three-month average of the preliminary employment data for New Jersey places the average unemployment rate at 7.0 percent, with total non-farm employment up by 2,100 (private, +2,300; public, -200).
In May, private sector job growth was posted in four of nine major industry sectors, while five recorded a loss. Industries that recorded employment gains included leisure and hospitality (+4,700), trade, transportation and utilities (+2,800), construction (+1,600) and manufacturing (+600). Job contraction occurred in professional and business services (-3,300), other services (-2,100), information (-1,300) and education and health services (-1,300).
Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 1,300, due to decreases at the local (-1,000) and state (-400) government levels.
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 BLS 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.