TRENTON – New Jersey’s labor participation rate approached 65 percent in March, a rate not seen in nearly 10 years, as more New Jersey residents found jobs or entered the labor force, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
However, total nonfarm employment declined by 2,600 in March to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,311,100. New Jersey employers have added 85,500 jobs over the past year.
Labor force estimates for March show the unemployment remained unchanged at 3.5 percent, mirroring the national rate.
New Jersey’s labor force participation rate increased to 64.8 percent, its highest level since July 2013. It rose .3 percentage points from February, when it was 64.5 percent.
February employment estimates were revised down to show a loss of 3,100 jobs; preliminary estimates showed a gain of 4,600 jobs. The February unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent.
In March, four out of nine major private industry sectors experienced job growth. Sectors that recorded employment increases were leisure and hospitality (+2,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (+400), information (+400), and education and health services (+100). Sectors that recorded an over-the-month loss were professional and business services (-3,500), other services (-1,200), manufacturing (-500), financial activities (-300), and construction (-100). Month-over-month, the state’s public sector was unchanged.
Preliminary year over year estimates (March 2022-March 2023) show growth in New Jersey was mostly broad based, with eight out of nine major private industry sectors recording job gains. In descending order, these industries are education and health services (+45,600), leisure and hospitality (+23,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (+6,500), manufacturing (+4,900), other services (+3,000), information (+2,600), construction (+2,300), and financial activities (+900). The only private sector industry to record a loss from March 2022 and March 2023 was professional and business services (-6,200). Year-over-year, the state’s public sector added 2,600 jobs.
Preliminary estimates for April will be released on May 18, 2023.