Jobs Up Slightly In February; NJ Unemployment Still Above National Rate

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TRENTON – Employment in New Jersey edged higher in February by 3,700 jobs, as the state’s unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point to 9.8 percent, according to figures released yesterday by the state labor department. The national rate was 9.7 percent.

Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the Garden State rose to a level of 3,853,400 in February. All of the over-the-month gains were recorded in the private sector as public sector jobholding was unchanged. Based on more complete reporting, the change in January employment which originally was reported as a 9,100 loss was revised higher to a decline of 9,000 jobs.

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In February, seven of ten private sector industry sectors saw job gains while two recorded losses, one was unchanged. The largest over-the-month job gains were recorded in financial activities (+1,800), professional and business services (+1,500), and education and health services (+1,200).

The advance in financial activities was mainly in the finance and insurance component (+1,500) while the gain in professional and business services was due to hiring in the professional, scientific and technical services (+1,200) and administrative support/waste management/remediation services (+700) segments.

In education and health services, gains were concentrated in the health care and social assistance component (+2,100). Smaller over-the-month gains were evident in trade, transportation and utilities (+400) and construction (+400).

Sizeable employment losses occurred in the manufacturing (-1,000) and other services (-800) industry sectors. Manufacturing employment was lower in both the durable (-200) and nondurable (-800) categories.
Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers decreased by -3.2 hours to 38.6 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $1.09 to $19.15 and weekly earnings were down by -$15.72 to $739.19.

Compared with February of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by -2.6 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.67 and weekly earnings were lower by – $22.19.

Industry employment data are derived through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of business establishments conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the US Department of Labor, which provides estimates of employment, hours, and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states, and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey).

Through a Federal-State cooperative endeavor, the employment security agency in each state analyzes and publishes industry employment data reports detailing the CES data compiled by BLS, using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by BLS.

Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the New Jersey portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the US Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey).

Through a Federal-State cooperative endeavor, the employment security agency of each state analyzes and publishes reports detailing the LAUS data compiled by BLS using concepts, definitions, and technical procedures prescribed by BLS.

Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from New Jersey’s Unemployment Insurance Compensation Law administrative records and other data.


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