TRENTON — Employment in New Jersey has finally fully recovered from losses suffered during economic shutdowns imposed during the early months of the pandemic, according to preliminary estimates released by the state Thursday.
Estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics point to a record number of jobs in the state in August for the first time in two-and-a-half years – 4,241,200, a gain of 15,400 from the previous month and 12,800 above the previous record. in February 2020.
In the first two months of the pandemic, when only businesses deemed essential could open and restaurants were limited to take-out service, employment in the state fell by 732,600, or more than 17% of all New Jersey jobs.
New Jersey’s economy has now gained jobs for 21 consecutive months.
While total employment has recovered, few sectors have returned to exactly where they were in February 2020, as the economy evolves:
- Total private sector employment increased by 346,000, or 1%.
- Employment in goods-producing fell 10,500, or 2.5%, to 406,500.
- Construction jobs are down 5,500, or 3.4%, to 158,500.
- Manufacturing jobs are down 4,900, or 1.9%, to 246,600.
- The number of service jobs rose by 23,300, or 0.6%, to 3,834,700.
- This includes an increase of 45,100 service jobs in the private sector, up 1.4% to 3,249,400.
- Those gains were partially offset by a decline of 21,800 jobs in utilities, down 3.6% to 585,300.
- Jobs in trade, transportation and utilities rose by 26,800, or 3%, to 916,000.
- Jobs in the information sector are down 100, or 0.1%, to 71,000.
- Jobs in financial activities were up 6,600, or 2.6%, to 260,500.
- Employment in professional and business services increased by 30,400, or 4.4%, to 715,200.
- Employment in education and health services fell 900, or 0.1%, to 729,000.
- Leisure and hospitality jobs are down 12,400, or 3.1%, to 388,700.
- And other private sector service delivery jobs are down 5,300, or 3.1%, to 168,100.
The jobless rate rose 0.3 percentage points in August to 4%, the highest in four months.
This was mainly due to an increase in labor force participation, which reached its highest level since June 2021, which the state labor department described as a signal that more workers are looking for jobs due solid working conditions. But unemployment was also at a four-month high at 188,700.
“While it is disappointing that New Jersey’s unemployment rate has increased and our gap with the national rate has widened, the report’s message is that job growth in the state remains strong, and it people who had withdrawn from the labor force may be coming back to look for work,” former chief state economist Charles Steindel said in a report for the conservative Garden State Initiative.
July job gains were revised up based on more comprehensive data, to 13,800 from 6,300. With that, the state had nearly reached its 100% recovery from pandemic job losses. in July with little fanfare, missing just 2,600.
Michael Symons is the Statehouse Bureau Chief for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.
If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.
You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.
If you plan to bring your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.
Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: