N.J. employment off to good start in ’18, state says

New Jersey’s jobs market grew in January, following positive results for 2017, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The department said Monday that data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated the state added 13,000 nonfarm jobs for the first month of the year, while the unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent.

For the month, most of the jobs added came in the private sector, with six of nine major job sectors posting gains.

They were:

  • Professional and business services, 5,800 jobs;
  • Trade, transportation and utilities, 4,100 jobs;
  • Construction, 1,800 jobs;
  • Financial activities, 1,000 jobs;
  • Information, 500 jobs;
  • Education and health services, 500 jobs.

The leisure and hospitality sector posted a loss of 2,600 jobs, while the manufacturing and “other services” sectors were unchanged.

Public-sector employment grew by 1,900 jobs from December.

The DOL said the state added 43,400 jobs for all of 2017, an increase from the previously reported estimate of 22,900 jobs gained for the year.

For the December 2016 to December 2017 period, five of the nine major sectors added jobs:

  • Education and health services, 20,300 jobs;
  • Trade, transportation and utilities, 15,300 jobs;
  • Leisure and hospitality, 8,500 jobs;
  • Manufacturing, 3,200 jobs;
  • Other services, 2,000 jobs.

The three sectors that lost positions were:

  • Construction, -2,800 jobs;
  • Information, -2,600 jobs;
  • Professional and business services, -1,000 jobs.

The financial activities sector was unchanged year-over-year. Public-sector employment grew by 500 jobs for the year.

The average annual unemployment rate for 2017 was revised to 4.6 percent, down from a 5 percent average in 2016.