May-19-16 Employment Contracts in April, But March Had Best Monthly Job Growth in 20 Years
Labor Force Participation Rate Grows for Third Straight Month
TRENTON, N.J., May 19, 2016 – Preliminary estimates by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed total nonfarm employment in New Jersey moved lower in April, while revised estimates for March showed a much larger increase in employment than initially reported, making March the best single month for job growth since February 1996.
Preliminary estimates for April indicate total nonfarm employment dipped in New Jersey, down by 7,500 jobs (-10,800 private; +3,300 public), as the state’s unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7 percent. However, based on more complete reporting from employers, the previously released employment estimates for March showed it to be the best single month for job growth in over 20 years. March estimates were revised up by 4,700 jobs to show an over-the-month total nonfarm employment gain of 22,000 jobs instead of the 17,300 initially reported.
The long term trend remains positive, with nonfarm employment up by 63,900 jobs over the past year (April 2015 – April 2016). New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 258,400 jobs since February 2010, the recessionary low point for private sector employment in the state.
The state’s unemployment rate has fallen 1.3 percentage points over the year and remains well below the national rate of 5.0 percent. Additionally, the state’s labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people employed or actively seeking work, grew for a third consecutive month to 64.4 percent, 1.6 percentage points higher than the national rate of 62.8 percent.
Industries that experienced employment gains in April included trade, transportation and utilities (+1,300), manufacturing (+1,100) and financial activities (+800). Sectors that experienced contraction were professional and business services (-6,700), information (-1,800), construction (-1,800), leisure and hospitality (-1,800), education and health services (-1,600) and other services (-200). The public sector recorded a gain of 3,300 jobs.
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 approximately 5,000 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 more complete data from all New Jersey employers.
The benchmark data, which presents a more complete picture of the New Jersey economy for the entire calendar year of 2016, will be released in March 2017.
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