TRENTON – New Jersey’s job market showed little change in May; employment was down by 400 jobs while the unemployment rate went up by 0.1 percentage point to 9.4 percent.
Preliminary estimates indicate that total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey moved slightly lower in May to 3,859,000, as measured by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) through its monthly employer survey. While seven of ten industry supersectors recorded job gains over the month, overall employment at private sector businesses was down by 700 jobs. Public sector employment was marginally higher over the month, up by 300.
“After several months of fairly strong increases, May’s results were obviously disappointing, though given the softer national numbers, not surprising. The gains in jobs in critical areas to the state’s economy, such as professional and business services and finance, suggest that the underlying trend is still positive,” said Charles Steindel, Chief Economist for the New Jersey Department of Treasury.
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released April estimates were revised somewhat lower, down by 1,500, to show an over-the-month (March-April) total nonfarm employment gain of 12,500 jobs.
Since January, New Jersey total non-farm employment has increased by 30,100 jobs.
In May, the job growth leader was the education and health services industry supersector, up by 2,600 jobs. Growth in this industry was fueled by hiring in the healthcare and social assistance component (+3,200) which overshadowed a loss in the educational services segment (-600). Other supersectors with larger gains included professional and business services (+1,400) and finance (+800). Employment in professional and business services was boosted mainly by gains in the management of companies (+2,000) and professional and technical services (+1,300) components. Smaller over-the-month gains were registered in information (+500), other services (+500), and leisure and hospitality (+400).
Industries that recorded job loss included manufacturing (-4,100), trade, transportation and utilities (-2,000) and construction (-900). Losses occurred in both the nondurable (-2,700) and durable (-1,400) goods segments of the manufacturing sector while the majority of the loss in trade, transportation and utilities took place in the transportation, warehousing and distribution segment (-2,200).
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