NJ Unemployment Rate Remains Above National Average; Jobs Decline By 3,100 In March

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TRENTON – New Jersey’s employment fell in March, with the largest losses occurring in the public sector. The state’s March unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point to 9.8 percent and remained above the national rate of 9.7 percent.

According to preliminary estimates released by the state Department of Labor today, total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey declined by 3,100 over the month to 3,849,800. Public sector jobholding fell by 2,500, while private sector employment was slightly lower by 600.

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Based on more complete reporting, the employment estimates for February was revised downward by 500, revealing that in February, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 3,200 jobs to a total nonfarm employment of 3,852,900.  The revised estimates also revealed that public sector employers shed 1,000 jobs, while private sector employers added 4,200 jobs.  February’s unemployment rate of 9.8 percent was revised slightly higher by 0.1 percent to 9.9 percent.

In March, five of ten private sector industry supersectors recorded job losses, while the other half registered gains. Notable losses occurred in manufacturing (-3,400) jobs and education and health services (-1,000). In manufacturing, losses were concentrated in both the durable (-1,200) and nondurable (-2,200) components.

In education and health services, losses occurred in both the educational services (-500) and healthcare and social services (-500) segments. Smaller losses occurred over the month in the professional and business services (-800), information (-400) and other services (-100) sectors.

Noteworthy job gains were recorded in trade, transportation and utilities (+2,500) and construction (+1,600). Gains in transportation, warehousing and utilities (+1,700) and retail trade (+700) were responsible for the jobs added in trade, transportation and utilities. Lesser gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (+600), financial activities (+300) and mining and logging (+100).

Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 2,500. Payrolls at the federal (-100) and state (-100) government levels were essentially unchanged; however, local government (includes county, municipal and local government education workers) was down by 2,300.

Over the month, the unadjusted workweek for manufacturing workers was increased by 0.3 to 40.0 hours, average hourly earnings decreased by -$0.06 to $18.96 and weekly earnings were up by $3.31 to $758.40.

Compared with March of last year, the unadjusted workweek was lower by -1.3 hours, average hourly earnings increased by $0.43 and weekly earnings were lower by -$6.89.


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