Unemployment, TRANSFORMING OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE, Labor
GSI Analysis: August ’22 Jobs Report – NJ Jobs, Labor Force Continue to Advance as Unemployment Rate Increases
- Unemployment rises 0.3% to 4.0% as increase in resident employment insufficient to offset the labor market increase
- August saw a new record high set for jobs in the state
- New Jersey’s labor force count rose 27,700 to a 2-year high
MORRISTOWN, NJ – On September 15th, New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the monthly jobs report for August 2022. Dr. Charles Steindel, former Chief Economist of the State of New Jersey, analyzed the report for the Garden State Initiative:
New Jersey employers added 15,400 jobs in August (12,200 in private sectors). With an upward revision to the July estimate, the total number of jobs in the state is reported to have been 4,241,200—a new record. Almost all sectors saw gains in August, with an increase of 2,600 in construction particularly noticeable, being the second straight gain after three months with losses. Leisure and hospitality jobs fell 1,000; however, August counts in this sector can be heavily affected by the specific timing of departures of seasonal workers (before seasonal adjustment, the leisure and hospitality job number fell by more than 7,000).
The household numbers saw a large 27,700 increase in the state’s labor force. This was the largest monthly gain since November 2020 and brought the total to 4,694,100—the highest since August 2020. The labor force numbers have been quite volatile since the start of the pandemic, but we have now seen 5 straight monthly gains, for a total increase of 76,200 since March.
With such a strong increase in the labor force, it was not surprising that the unemployment rate moved up from 3.7 to 4.0%, despite a good gain of 11,000 in resident employment. We were quite comparable here to the nation as a whole, with a similar surge in the labor force considerably larger than the employment gain, leading to a move up in the unemployment rate from 3.5 to 3.7%.
While it is disappointing that New Jersey’s unemployment rate increased, and that our gap with the national rate ticked up, the message of the report is that job growth in the state remains strong, and it may be the case that people who had withdrawn from the labor force are coming back to look for jobs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue its monthly “State Employment and Unemployment” report on Friday, September 16th, which offers a comparison of how New Jersey is faring relative to other states.