Garden State Initiative Monthly Jobs Report

Garden State Initiative is committed to providing the latest in analysis on economic issues facing our state.

On a monthly basis we will provide in-depth analysis of the employment report issued by the State of New Jersey's Department of Labor and Workforce Development and data from the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.  

February 2019 Jobs Report:

Downward Revision in Job Growth a Sign of Weak NJ Economy

  • NJ lost 9,300 private sector jobs in February, 8 out of 10 sectors report losses

  • Information and Financial Activities sectors reporting nearly 10,000 lost jobs year over year

  • NJ’s labor force remains smaller than average labor force in 2006

  • Participation rate trails national average by over 0.5%

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  According to Garden State Initiative (GSI) analysis of the newest jobs numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today, New Jersey’s economy lost 9,300 private sector jobs in February, while gaining 1,600 public sector positions.  Losses were registered in all private sector fields except for Manufacturing (+200) and Professional and Business Services (+1,000). Losses were recorded in eight out of ten industries reported by BLS.

Although the new Jersey labor force increased by 9,400 in February, it is still smaller than the average labor force size in 2006.

“Today’s report confirms the swelling weakness in our state’s economy,” said Regina M. Egea, president of the Garden State Initiative. “The weakness is especially glaring in our state’s vital Information and Financial Activities sectors, which are now reporting nearly 10,000 lost jobs year over year.”

Some of the additional highlights from this month’s jobs report include:

  • The state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4 percent.

  • Job losses included: Construction (-300), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (-4,200), Information (-500), Financial Activities (-1,800), Education and Health Services (-1,300), Leisure and Hospitality (-1,500), Other Services (-1,000).

  • Job gains were reported for Manufacturing (+200) and Professional and Business Services (+1,000).

  • New Jersey’s labor force participation rate (the number of people available for work as a percentage of the total population) rose slightly by .1 percentage point in January to 62.6. percent. This continues to be below the national labor force participation rate of 63.2 percent. Prior to 2018, NJ’s Participation Rate was above the US average.