Unemployment, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL, Labor
GSI Analysis: Dec. ’22 Jobs Report – Labor Market Closes 2022 on Good Note, Despite Losses in Some Sectors
- Overall increase of 1,400 from November swelled by 1,300 gain in government
- Marked losses in construction and professional and business services may have been weather-related
- Unemployment (3.4%) remains below national average (3.5%), and labor force continues to grow
On January 19th, New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the monthly jobs report for December 2022. Dr. Charles Steindel, former Chief Economist of the State of New Jersey, analyzed the report for the Garden State Initiative:
New Jersey added 1,400 jobs in December (the November increase was revised up to a very strong 18,100). The total increase since December 2021 has been nearly 150,000. 2022 joins 2021 as the only years since 1999 in which jobs have grown by more than 100,000 over their 12 months (the 2022 numbers will be subject to revision in March; it is anticipated that they will more likely than not be revised up).
The pattern of job growth was quite mixed in December. The private sector as a whole was virtually unchanged, with a gain of just 100. Most notably, there were large losses in both construction (3,400) and Professional and Business Services (2,500). Marked increases in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities as well as Educational and Health Services were the major offsets to these losses. It’s possible the sharp swing in the state’s weather, from unusual warmth in November to more-normal cold (and at times, severe cold) in December contributed to the losses. For instance, before seasonal adjustment, there was a 25,000 drop in jobs in the component of Professional and Business Services that includes landscapers, as compared to a decline of just 6,100 in December 2021.
The unemployment and labor force numbers were good. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.4% and so remains under the nation’s 3.5%. New Jersey’s labor force rose 9,300. Since the March low point, the labor force has increased by more than 100,000, though it is still a bit below the pre-pandemic peak level.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue its monthly “State Employment and Unemployment” report on Friday, January 20th, which offers a comparison of how New Jersey is faring relative to other states.
Please note that there will not be a jobs report issued in February. On March 13th the Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue preliminary BLS data for January 2023, as well as data that presents a more complete picture of the New Jersey economy for calendar year 2022.