GSI analysis: Job growth revision is sign of weak economy

Garden State Initiative has released an analysis of New Jersey’s newest job numbers, and said there’s been a shift toward a weaker New Jersey economy.

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development said its job growth numbers in the state were much smaller than first reported. Instead of the previously reported 61,900 new jobs added in 2018, there were only 39,400 new jobs added last year, a decline of 44 percent. GSI said this is a sign of a weak economy.

Although the new numbers mean the state still experienced job growth in 2018, GSI said, the labor force is smaller than what it was in 2006.

“This anemic report, with substantial downwards revision to the jobs created in 2018, is yet another cause for alarm over the resiliency of New Jersey’s economy,” Regina M. Egea, president of Garden State Initiative, said. “Despite the first increase in the workforce participation rate in over a year, New Jersey is still lagging the U.S. average and while Wall Street continues a bull market, our Financial Activities sector led in job losses for the year.”

Some other highlights from this month’s job report include:

  • The state’s unemployment rate was up slightly to 4 percent;
  • The leisure and hospitality and professional and business services sector gained the most jobs in January (8,100 and 7,900 jobs, respectively);
  • The financial activities and other services sectors lost the most jobs in January (1,300 and 1,500 jobs, respectively);
  • The financial activities sector lost the most jobs in 2018;
  • Labor force participation rose to 62.5 percent.