Preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that New Jersey’s unemployment rate fell by 2.6 percentage points to 7.6% in December — mostly because of people leaving the labor force rather than finding jobs. Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state last month was a seasonally adjusted 3,890,000, with 7,700 jobs lost in both the private (-7,100) and public (-600) sectors.T
The December data suggests that employment recovery from a pandemic-related low point in April stalled in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to the the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. New Jersey regained 479,400 jobs in the six months after April — about 58% of jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken in response to it. But since September, total employment has contracted by 2,100 jobs.
December sector-by-sector employment data shows overall jobs losses in leisure and hospitality (-8,900 jobs), financial activities (-1,900), education and health services (-1,600) and information (-1,300). Overall job gains were recorded in construction (+3,100), professional and business services (+2,900), manufacturing (+300), trade, transportation, and utilities (+200), and other services (+200). The public sector lost 600 jobs in December.