Unemployment, TRANSFORMING OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE, Labor
GSI Analysis: Feb. ’22 Jobs Report – Decline in Workforce Spurs Decline in Unemployment Rate
NJ’s 4.6% Unemployment rate remains above 3.8% U.S. average
0.5% drop in Unemployment driven by a decline in the labor force
17,700 persons left NJ workforce while U.S. added 304,000 workers
NJ added 25,900 jobs, with gains reported in most sectors
On March 24th, New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the monthly jobs report for February 2022. Dr. Charles Steindel, former Chief Economist of the State of New Jersey, analyzed the report for the Garden State Initiative:
New Jersey’s February labor market numbers were good. The most striking was a drop in the unemployment rate from 5.1% in January to 4.6% in February—the lowest rate since March 2020’s 3.3%. Still, New Jersey’s unemployment rate remains above the nation’s 3.8%. Moreover, most of the decline from January to February was due to the state’s labor force falling a marked 17,700 over a month in which the national count rose 304,000.
The job count figures were strong, with the state’s payrolls rising 25,900 in February—the largest gain since July. With a moderate upward revision to the January figure, February marked the 6th consecutive month that New Jersey added at least 10,000 jobs. There is still a remaining job gap of close to 75,000 to the February 2020 peak level. As of January, most states were still under their old job peaks; but among larger states Georgia, Florida, and Texas have been setting new records.
February job gains were marked in most New Jersey sectors. Indeed, the Public Sector was the only one reporting a loss (300), while Information was unchanged. Construction, Trade, Transportation and Utilities, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services all saw job growth above 1%.
On March 25th, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued its monthly State Employment and Unemployment report on Friday, March 25th, offering a comparison of how New Jersey is faring relative to other states. The 0.5% decline in the state’s unemployment rate placed the state 11th highest in the nation.
NOTE: This page was updated on March 25th to reflect the release of data for all 50 states by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.