For anyone looking for a job, New Jersey has been on a six-month streak. In June, the state gained more than 16,500 jobs, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But while the labor market and economy appear to be bouncing back from the pandemic, the unemployment rate tells a somewhat different story, rising this month to 7.3%.
How can what’s happening in the job market be explained when so many employers say they’re struggling to fill vacant positions? “We had workforce challenges pre-COVID but we have a hiring crisis that is unprecedented,” said Michele Siekerka, President and CEO of the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.