GSI Analysis: August '19 Jobs Report - Underlying Employment Data Shows NJ Continues to Trail US Growth

  • State loses 1,200 private sector jobs, adds 2,300 public sector positions

  • Despite slight gains, workforce size remains below 2008 levels

  • Financial Activities sector adds 900 jobs but NJ still leads US in losses

According to Garden State Initiative (GSI) analysis of the newest job numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey’s economy shed 1,200 private sector jobs in August while adding 2,300 public sector positions. The net gain of 1,100 jobs reduced the unemployment rate to 3.2%.

“New Jersey’s underlying employment data stands in contrast to the Administration’s aspiration of “getting more people to work,” said GSI’s president Regina M. Egea. “The state shed private sector jobs this month. Coupled with the poor growth of our workforce size and a lagging participation rate, this month’s report illustrates an economy far behind the national economic boom.”

While the national economy added 95,000 private sector jobs in August, New Jersey lost 1,200 private sector jobs in the month, with losses reported in 5 out of 9 sectors. Also, of note, the state shed 3,700 Leisure and Hospitality positions in the month, in contrast to the national economy adding 12,000 jobs in that sector. The state did add 900 Financial Activities positions, a sector that New Jersey has led the nation in job losses year over year. While the U.S. economy has added over 100,000 financial positions in the last year, New Jersey has shed 4,800.

The Civilian Labor Force in the state increased by 11,400 persons in August to 4,457,100, but still remains the below the pre-Great Recession average of 4,504,400 in 2008. The national workforce grew again in August by 207,000. Since August 2018, New Jersey’s workforce has grown by 39,600 persons while the national workforce has increased by 1.3 million in that time period.