Apr-16-15 Private Employment Positive in First Quarter 2015
February Job Growth Revised Upward as Preliminary March Estimates Decline
Private sector employment grew by 9,200 jobs in February, up 2,400 from preliminary estimates, according to revised data from the BLS, which also issued preliminary data for March estimating a private sector decline (-5,800) and estimating total nonfarm employment at a seasonally adjusted level of 3,990,100, as measured by the BLS monthly employer survey. The overall data shows private sector employment up 8,500 for the first quarter of 2015 and over-the-year growth (March 2014 to March 2015) of 44,800 jobs.
New Jersey private employers have added 177,500 jobs since February 2010, the low point of private sector employment during the recession. Public sector employment dropped (-600) in March and the state’s unemployment rate edged to 6.5 percent, according to preliminary BLS estimates. The number of people employed or actively seeking work continues to outpace the nation as New Jersey’s labor participation rate hits 64.1 percent compared to 62.7 percent for the U.S.
In March, private sector job growth was posted in four of nine major industry sectors while five recorded contractions. Industries that recorded employment gains included manufacturing (+2,800), education and health services (+800), other services (+500) and information (+500). Industries that experienced job contraction were trade, transportation and utilities (-4,600), professional and business services (-3,000), construction (-2,300), leisure and hospitality (-300) and financial activities (-200). Over the month, public sector employment was lower by 600.
Technical Notes: Estimates of industry employment and unemployment levels are arrived at through the use of two different monthly surveys.
Industry employment data are derived through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a monthly survey of approximately 5,000 business establishments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor, which provides estimates of employment, hours and earnings data broken down by industry for the nation as a whole, all states and most major metropolitan areas (often referred to as the “establishment” survey).
Resident employment and unemployment data are mainly derived from the New Jersey portion of the national Current Population Survey (CPS), a household survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau under contract with BLS, which provides input to the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program (often referred to as the “household” survey).
Both industry and household estimates are revised each month based on additional information from updated survey reports compiled by the BLS. In addition, these estimates are benchmarked (revised) annually based on actual counts from New Jersey’s Unemployment Compensation Law administrative records and more complete data from all New Jersey employers.
The benchmarked data, which will present a more complete picture of the New Jersey economy for the entire calendar year of 2015, will be released in March 2016.