N.J. records job losses in February following 6 months of gains; unemployment rate holds steady

After six months of gains, New Jersey recorded a decline in the number of jobs in February, according to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday. Total non-farm employment in the state decreased 5,300 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,370,700.

Several sectors reported job gains for the month, and the unemployment rate remained steady at 4.8% for the sixth straight month.

In February, five out of nine major private industry sectors recorded gains: private education and health services (+2,400), leisure and hospitality (+1,000), information (+500), financial activities (+200) and manufacturing (+100). Four major private industry sectors recorded losses: professional and business services (-4,200), construction (-3,400), other services (-1,600) and trade, transportation, and utilities (-1,000). The public sector recorded a seasonally adjusted gain of 700 jobs.

Over the past 12 months, New Jersey has added 73,000 nonfarm jobs; about 90% percent of the gains were in the private sector.

Seven out of nine private sector industries recorded year-over-year gains from February 2023 to this February. These industries are education and health services (+38,100), leisure and hospitality (+13,500), trade, transportation, and utilities (+8,300), other services (+5,700), financial activities (+1,200), construction (+1,000) and manufacturing (+700).

Professional and business services (-1,400) and information (-1,100) recorded losses.

Year-over-year, the state’s public sector recorded an increase of 7,100 jobs.