ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL, Labor
Revised BLS Data Shows Improved 2022 New Jersey Unemployment Numbers
- New figures show state hit a record-low unemployment rate last summer
- Labor force, employment totals substantially higher than originally reported
On March 1st, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued revised 2022 numbers on the labor force, total employment, and unemployment for all states. The new numbers show that New Jersey’s performance on these fronts in 2022 was even better than initially reported. The state’s average unemployment rate for the year is now estimated to have been 3.7%, (virtually identical to the national average) compared to the earlier 3.9% figure. The new monthly numbers set the rate in August at 3.0%, which is a record low (the old figure was 4.0%); the new number for December is 3.3% vs. 3.4%.
The unemployment rate revisions were accompanied by upward revisions in both the labor force and overall employment. The labor force average for the year has been boosted by nearly 75,000, and from July on was higher than the January 2020 pre-pandemic peak. The labor force participation rate is now reported to have been a full percentage point higher than earlier thought. The average employment count for the year has been increased by more than 80,000, and the increase in employment from December 2021 to December 2022 is now more than 200,000, compared to the earlier figure of 160,000. The employment revisions lessen the puzzle of why the job count numbers were so much better, though we are still waiting for the annual revision of the job count (which is expected to be positive).
New Jersey’s 3.7% 2022 unemployment rate was substantially under New York’s 4.3%, Pennsylvania’s 4.4%, and Delaware’s 4.5%. The nearest state with a lower rate was Maryland (3.2%).