N.J. unemployment rate steady at 3.4%; job gains continue with small uptick in December

On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said New Jersey’s labor market grew slightly in December, adding 1,400 nonfarm jobs, bringing the state’s total to a seasonally adjusted level of nearly 4.27 million.

The total increase since December 2021 has been nearly 150,000 jobs. 2022 joins 2021 as the only years since 1999 in which jobs have grown by more than 100,000 over their 12 months (the 2022 numbers will be subject to revision in March; it is anticipated that they will more likely than not be revised up).

Private-sector employment rose by 100 jobs for the month, continuing a streak of 32 consecutive months of growth starting in May 2020. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.4%.

In December, four out of nine major private industry sectors recorded job growth: education and health services (+4,400); trade, transportation, and utilities (+2,200); other services (+500); and information (+100).

Sectors that recorded a loss for the month were: construction (-3,400); professional and business services (-2,500); manufacturing (-500); financial activities (-400); and leisure and hospitality (-300).