N.J. experienced higher employment growth over the past 2 years

Pandemic jobs recovery occurred months earlier than originally estimated

New Jersey experienced higher employment growth over the past two years than first reported, with 34,000 additional jobs gained, according to updated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Monday.

The information also shows the Garden State’s employment recovery from the pandemic occurred months earlier than first reported.

The over-the-year (December 2021 to December 2022) change in total nonfarm jobs was revised to a gain of 129,700, a smaller increase from the previously reported gain of 148,900. However, including higher revisions made for 2021, the two-year job gain now stands at 395,300 — 34,000 more jobs than originally estimated.

Benchmarked data also revised employment losses due to the pandemic. The revisions show that, in March and April 2020, New Jersey lost a total of 730,200 nonfarm jobs, or 17.3% of the state’s nonfarm employment total in February 2020. Previous estimates had shown 732,600 jobs lost. Revisions also indicate the total nonfarm employment recovery back to February 2020 levels occurred earlier than previously estimated. The payroll gain was fully realized in April 2022 — rather than in August 2022.

The revised data show that over the December 2021 to December 2022 period, all nine major private industry sectors added to their payrolls.

Year-over-year gains:

  • Education and health services (+41,400);
  • Trade, transportation, and utilities (+29,200);
  • Leisure and hospitality (+26,900);
  • Other services (+9,300);
  • Professional and business services (+7,100);
  • Manufacturing (+6,700);
  • Information (+4,700);
  • Financial activities (+2,400); and
  • Construction (+1,800).

Labor force estimates for New Jersey residents were also revised. The average annual unemployment rate was 3.7% for 2022, a decline from 6.6% in 2021, and just one-tenth of a percentage point above the 2022 national rate of 3.6%.