New Jersey’s job growth continued for the 17th consecutive month in April, increasing by 14,800 jobs with the unemployment rate falling to 4.1%.
In 2022, job growth has averaged nearly 18,700 jobs per month while the unemployment rate has fallen from 5.1% this past January. April marked the eighth straight month with an increase of at least 10,000 jobs.
New Jersey has recovered nearly 700,000 jobs, or about 95%, of those lost due to the pandemic in March and April 2020.
“So far in 2022 New Jersey’s job performance has been relatively impressive,” said Garden State Initiative contributor Charles Steindel. “From December to April our job numbers have increased 1.8%, beating the nation’s 1.4% increase. We don’t have April numbers for our neighbors, but from December to March our job growth was higher than New York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, and matched Massachusetts.”
April’s employment increases were especially buoyed by gains in leisure and hospitality (+4,700); trade, transportation, and utilities (+4,400); and education and health services (+4,200). Construction jobs, however, declined last month.
“One disappointment in April was a loss of 2,600 construction jobs,” Steindel explained. “It’s too early, though, to conclude that reflects the impact of the recent increase in interest rates. All other sectors saw gains; particularly encouraging were marked increases in trade, transportation, and utilities, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. These sectors contain many lower-wage jobs, and were particularly hard-hit by the pandemic.”
Steindel said that the labor and unemployment numbers were also good.
“Sluggishness or outright declines in the state’s labor force have long been a problem, and an increase such as this (which brought the level of the labor force to a bit above December’s, reversing some upsetting drops in recent months, was welcome news,” Steindel said.
On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue its monthly “State Employment and Unemployment” report, which offers a look at how New Jersey compares to other states.
New Jersey will release its May data on June 16, 2022.