New Jersey employers added 17,800 jobs in March, which led the unemployment rate to fall from 4.6% to 4.2%.
The strong month continues a trend of 16 consecutive months of job gains. Nearly all of March’s jobs were in the private sector, with employment increases in eight of the nine major private industry sectors.
In this jobs report, over-the-month gains were recorded in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, financial activities, education and health services, other services and construction. No change was recorded in the information sector, while the public sector added just 200 jobs. The biggest gains, among those sectors, was seen in leisure and hospitality, which picked up 4,900 positions. Professional and business services came in behind that sector with 4,300 jobs added.
Through the first three months of the year, more than 58,000 jobs were added. Overall, New Jersey has now recovered 679,400 jobs, or 93% of the number that was originally lost in March and April 2020 from the pandemic.
February’s numbers were also revised higher by 3,300 jobs to just under 30,000 during that period. That was due to more complete reporting from employers.
While the news continues to be mostly positive on the jobs front in New Jersey, the state still has a higher unemployment rate than the nation’s 3.6%.
With the April 15, “State Employment and Unemployment” report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey will get a better sense of just how it stacks up against the rest of the United States.
At the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s ReNEW Jersey Business Summit in Atlantic City this week, Gov. Phil Murphy touted the state’s economic growth and recovery from the pandemic, as well as the investment in emerging sectors, such as film and television, legal cannabis, startups, sports betting, and offshore wind energy.
“What all this says is that our efforts to grow the key sectors we need to power our future economy have set some strong roots,” he said. “The indicators point to a growing state economy – but now the challenge is to ensure it keeps expanding.”