New Jersey’s unemployment rate drops to 6.6%; adds jobs for 11th straight month

New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development figures for November showed strong hiring, with 25,800 jobs added — and 76,000 jobs added over the last three months — according to preliminary estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Jersey has now recovered 548,500 jobs, or about 76% of the number lost in March and April 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The unemployment rate for the Garden State fell to 6.6%, down 0.4% in November. This marks the 11th consecutive month of gains in the state’s total nonfarm job level, with five of the past six months showing gains of at least 20,500 jobs. Despite the strong job growth, however, many private employers continue to report issues finding workers and New Jersey still lags behind much of the nation when it comes to pandemic recovery. New Jersey’s unemployment rate remains more than 2 full percentage points above the national rate of 4.4%.

In November, employment gains were recorded in eight out of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that recorded increases are: professional and business services (+8,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,500), education and health services (+4,200), leisure and hospitality (+3,300), other services (+2,400), manufacturing (+700), financial activities (+700) and information (+300). The only sector to record a loss over the month was construction (-1,800). Over the month, public sector employment decreased by 1,200.