Tourism is typically cited as New Jersey’s largest industry sector, but it still might come as a surprise to learn that leisure, hospital, and retail trade employment make up 24 percent of all private sector jobs in the state.
The largest component of this group is retail trade, which accounts for 56 percent of the sector, employing 434,000 New Jerseyans at 32,799 establishments in 2009, with an average wage of $29,677. The second-largest component of the sector (29 percent) is food services/drinking places, with 218,905 employees in 2009 at 17,393 establishments and an average annual wage of $16,930. Accommodations employed 60,770 people at 1,372 establishments at a salary of $31,669. Arts, entertainment and recreation make up the remaining part of the Leisure and Hospitality cluster, with 52,552 employees at 3,635 establishments and a $33,053 annual wage.
It should be noted that in 2009 the average wage of New Jerseyans was $54,543.