FILE - NJ farm, farmland

Aerial view of farmland in Mount Laurel, New Jersey

(The Center Square) – New Jersey’s nonfarm wage and salary employment increased by 25,800 in November, marking the eleventh straight month of gains.

Additionally, the state’s unemployment rate for the month fell by 0.4 percentage points, from 7% to 6.6%, and the state revised its October job numbers upward by 29,800, citing “more complete reporting from employers.”

“So far this year the state’s job count has increased by almost 200,000,” Charles Steindel, New Jersey’s former chief economist, said in an analysis for the Garden State Initiative (GSI). “We are still about 170,000 jobs under the February 2020 peak, but with continued gains and the likelihood that the number has been understated, there now appears a reasonable chance a new peak could be reached next year.”

While all private sectors except construction saw job growth during the month, the state’s unemployment rate still exceeds the national average of 4.2%. Public sector employment also decreased.

“However, in contrast with the nation, where November saw a big drop in unemployment and a large increase in the labor force, New Jersey’s labor force was virtually unchanged,” Steindel said. “The longer-term stagnation in New Jersey’s workforce ... remains baffling, even taking into account our sluggish population growth.”

The Garden State has recovered about 76% of the jobs, or 548,500 jobs, lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development news release.

New Jersey's Unemployment Rate

New Jersey unemployment rate

New Jersey's unemployment rate from January 2020 through November 2021, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics data.