GSI Analysis: April '19 Jobs Report - As Unemployment Drops to 3.9%, NJ Leads Nation in Financial Sector Job Losses

  • Unemployment Rate Decreases 0.2 to 3.9%

  • Economy adds +10,900 private sector job & 900 public sector positions

  • Financial Activities loses 1,800 jobs, NJ leads nation in job losses year over year

  • Workforce declines by 2,200 and remains smaller than average labor force in 2008

According to Garden State Initiative (GSI) analysis of the newest job numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics New Jersey’s economy added 10,900 private sector jobs in April, decreasing the state’s unemployment rate to 3.9%. The state’s workforce declined by 2,200 during the month, remaining at a level below when the last recession hit in 2008. The state’s Financial Activities sector experienced another month of losses down 1,800 jobs, with the state leading the nation in losses in that sector year over year.

 “Our state is continuing to follow the positive national trend of adding jobs to the economy,” said Garden State Initiative President Regina M. Egea. “However, the stagnation in our workforce size and significant losses in the Financial Activities sector, which in prior years has led our growth, remain cause for concern going forward.”

The Financial Activities sector is one of New Jersey’s most valuable industries in terms of quality middle/upper class jobs, constituting nearly 6% of the state’s workforce. Losses of 1,800 jobs in April added to prior months results in the state having shed 7,700 positions year over year in that sector alone.

Of note, utilizing national data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from the prior month March 2018 - March 2019, New Jersey has lost the most jobs (5,500) of any state in the country in this sector. 18 other states have also lost financial services jobs (New York ranked 2nd losing 4,700 and California ranked 3rd losing 4,200 in this sector) but New Jersey's financial job losses are the most in the nation. During that same time period, the financial services sector in Florida and Texas were expanding significantly, leading the nation while gaining 18,300 and 16,400 financial jobs respectively.

New Jersey’s labor force decreased by 2,200 workers in April, it remains smaller than the average labor force size in 2008, when the last recession occurred.