Unemployment, TRANSFORMING OUR BUSINESS CLIMATE, Labor
GSI Analysis: Jan. ’22 Jobs Report – 2021 Revision Boosts NJ Jobs Picture, Still Trails U.S. Recovery
With revisions, Unemployment falls to 5.2%, still well above 4.0% national average
State ties with Nevada for 8th highest jobless rate, while comparable to neighboring Northeastern states
January’s increase in jobs was the 14th straight, and there was a noticeable upward revision to the 2021 level.
State job count remains more than 100,000 below the pre-pandemic peak.
On March 14th, New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development issued the monthly jobs report for January 2022 and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued the monthly State Employment and Unemployment Survey. Dr. Charles Steindel, former Chief Economist of the State of New Jersey, analyzed the reports for the Garden State Initiative:
New Jersey employers added 8,300 jobs to their payrolls in January. That marked the 14th straight month of job growth. However, the January increase was the smallest since August. No sector showed remarkably strong or remarkably weak changes in its job count; the most visible gains were in Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Financial Activities.
With the January numbers came the annual revisions to the data for the past few years. As was widely anticipated (from unemployment insurance tax records), and shown by the chart below, New Jersey saw a noticeable upward revision of well over 50,000 on average for 2021. The sectors which had the most marked upward revisions were Construction, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, Education and Health Services, Leisure and Hospitality, and “Other” services (a grab bag of industries). Even with the marked revision, the state’s job count in January was a bit more than 100,000—or around 2 ½%–less than the February 2020 peak. There is a chance that a new job peak can be achieved this year, but that would require the monthly pace of job growth to pick up from January (and overcoming potential effects of the Ukraine war and looming Federal Reserve interest rate increases).
According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey’s 5.2% unemployment rate ties the state with Nevada for 8th highest in the nation, significantly above the 3.8% U.S. average. New Jersey’s neighboring states are generally tightly bunched in the same range as the Garden State.
Data for February 2022 is scheduled to be released by the state on March 24, 2022.