NEW JERSEY – According to estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey decreased by 31,800 in March to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,210,100. Both the private (-22,300) and public (-9,500) sectors of the state’s economy recorded losses.
Despite the employment decrease, the state’s unemployment rate held steady for March at 3.8 percent. It should be noted that these estimates were based on surveys taken for the week including March 12th, predating many coronavirus-related business and school closures that took place in the second half of the month, so the state expects downward adjustments to employment in future reports. See technical notes at the end of this release for further information about the impact of the coronavirus on this month’s estimates.
Looking at the longer term, over the year, March 2019 – March 2020, employment in New Jersey was higher by 19,900, with the gains concentrated in the private sector (+25,400).
Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for February were revised lower by 2,000 to show an over-the-month (January – February) increase of 1,100 jobs. Preliminary estimates had indicated an over-the-month gain of 3,100 jobs. The state’s revised February unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.8 percent.
In March, employment losses were recorded in seven out of nine major private industry sectors. Industry sectors that lost jobs include leisure and hospitality (-14,800), professional and business services (-3,600), education and health services (-2,500), financial activities (-1,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (-700), information (-600), and construction (-100). Industry sectors that added jobs for the month include manufacturing (+900) and other services (+100). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 9,500.
Preliminary Bureau Labor Statistics data for April 2020 will be released on May 21, 2020.