GSI Analysis: June ’19 Jobs Report – Modest Job Growth & Shrinking Workforce Drives Unemployment Rate Lower

  • State gains 9,600 Private Sector jobs, Government adds 600 jobs

    • Job gains in 8 out of 9 major private industry sectors

  • Workforce declines by 4,000 and remains smaller than average labor force in 2008

    • NJ workforce 1.3% smaller than in 2008, US has grown 5.6%

·         Unemployment Rate Decreases 0.3 to 3.5% on modest job gains & shrinking workforce

  • NJ still leads US in YTD Financial Activities sector job losses

Following in the wake of the U.S. economy adding 224,000 jobs in June, New Jersey’s economy added 9,600 private sector and 600 government sector jobs in June,  according to Garden State Initiative (GSI) analysis of the newest jobs numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Garden State’s workforce declined in June, the 2nd straight month of a reduction, with the state’s workforce remaining below 2008 levels. The combination of increased employment and shrinking workforce led the unemployment rate 0.3% lower to 3.5%.

The state’s workforce shrank by 4,000 individuals in June, the second consecutive month of declines. The state’s average workforce of 4,443,100 in the month, remains below the average annual workforce size of 4,504,400 at the start of the Great Recession in 2008, a decline of 1.3%. The current national workforce has increased 5.6% over the same time period.  

“Enthusiasm about the drop in the state’s unemployment rate must be tempered by concern about the continued stagnation in our workforce size, which remains below 2008 levels, while at the same time the US workforce is growing,” stated Garden State Initiative president, Regina M. Egea. “Job growth in most sectors is an encouraging sign for our economy, however the Financial Activities sector, which has been flat for 2 months after New Jersey has led the nation in job losses, remains a cause for concern.”

In June, employment increases were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. In the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, a vital part of our state’s economy, where New Jersey had been 3rd in the nation in job losses year over year in May, the state recorded gains (+2,600).  The financial services industry sector was unchanged for the second consecutive month. Year over year, the state has led the nation in job losses in that sector, shedding 6,000 jobs since May 2018. In the same time period, Texas and Florida led the nation adding over 20,000 each in that sector.   

Public sector employment was higher by 600 jobs in June, while the state had ranked 11th in the nation in adding government jobs year over year.