GSI Analysis: 2019 Revised & January Jobs Reports – A Look at Where We Stand - Garden State Initiative

GSI Analysis: 2019 Revised & January Jobs Reports – A Look at Where We Stand


GSI Analysis: 2019 Revised & January Jobs Reports – A Look at Where We Stand

March 16, 2020


A statement from Garden State Initiative’s president, Regina M. Egea:

“As all of us in New Jersey and our country grapple with the personal and economic ramifications of COVID-19, we need our leaders in Trenton more than ever to work collaboratively on solutions to meet today’s challenges as well as to have the foresight to enact policies that position residents and our state for a strong recovery in the months ahead.

GSI will continue our mission to inform by providing analysis, research and commentary on the latest economic data as it becomes available.

As we come together as one community, we at Garden State Initiative extend our wishes for good health and hopes that we may all navigate this turbulent period with family and loved ones nearby.” 

2019 Revised & January 2020 Jobs Reports

This morning, New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the revised employment data for 2019 and January 2020 jobs report, which notably does not reflect the current business and government decisions being made daily and resulting economic impacts.

The 2019 numbers found that New Jersey’s private sector economy ranked in the middle of the pack nationally, adding 52,400 jobs during the year, with the largest gains recorded in Education and Health Services (+14,800) and Professional and Business Services (+14,200). The worst performing sector for New Jersey was the Financial Activities sector, where our state ranked second in the U.S. for job losses (-2,100).

Overall, the state ended the year with its largest average workforce size since 2013, although, for the year, the average level remains below that at the start of the Great Recession in 2008. The state recorded an average unemployment rate of 3.6% for 2019, down from 4.1% for 2018.

As we look towards the January 2020 data, the state’s unemployment rate increased 0.1% to 3.8% as the state added 12,500 private sector jobs and 1,600 public sector positions. Of note, the largest gains were recorded in Professional and Business Services (+3,700), Education and Health Services (+3,400) sectors, while losses were recorded in Information (-400) and Financial Activities (-500), which continues to be a weakness in the state’s job market. The increase in the unemployment rate was driven by 16,700 individuals joined the workforce, which increased to 4,551,700.

The preliminary BLS data for February 2020, the last month before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic should be visible, will be released next Thursday, March 26th.