Tag Archive for 'New Jersey'

Wells Fargo New Jersey Labor Market Update: March 2017

New Jersey payroll employment slipped by 17,500 jobs in March while February’s gain was revised down to 10,900 jobs. The unemployment rate still dropped to 4.2 percent in March, matching its pre-recession low.

New Jersey’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 16-Year Low

Similar to the U.S. jobs report, March was a disappointing month for nonfarm payrolls in New Jersey, but the unemployment rate continued to drop. Nonfarm payrolls declined by 17,500 jobs during the month, with losses fairly broad based across the private sector. The largest cuts were in leisure & hospitality, professional & business services and trade, transportation & utilities. Some of the softness may have been temporary or weather-related, as the state was hit by a large winter storm during the March survey week. Most of the state’s major employment sectors added to payrolls over the past year, although construction hiring appears to have pulled back at bit, which bears watching.

New Jersey’s household employment data was less impacted by the weather and was much more positive. Notably, the state’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.2 percent which matched its pre-recession low. Civilian employment rose by 9,800 workers, while the labor force declined slightly. As a result, the number of unemployed declined. New Jersey’s unemployment rate is the lowest since May 2007. The state’s labor force participation rate is 2.7 percentage points lower, however.

NJ Employment Back to Pre-Recession Level: Now More Diverse

Benchmark revisions reveal that New Jersey payroll employment had actually surpassed its previous cycle high in September 2016, contrasting with previously published data. Now that the state has passed this milestone, we looked at how New Jersey’s employment base has changed over the past decade. Manufacturing employed 80,000 fewer workers in 2016 than in 2006, while government payrolls were down by 35,000 jobs. The combination of fallout from the housing bust and automation erased thousands of jobs in the finance, information and construction industries. A decade ago, New Jersey housed back office operations of financial firms in New York City— jobs vulnerable to automation and streamlining. Similarly, most of the decline in the information industry was in telecommunications and print publishing—sectors also impacted by changing technology.

New Jersey’s employment base is now more diverse, making it less exposed to industry-specific declines than a decade ago. The bottom chart illustrates that declines in government, manufacturing, construction, finance and information jobs were offset by gains in a broad spectrum of industries. Ambulatory health care, which includes outpatient care and doctors’ offices, saw the largest increase over the decade, followed by professional services, education and food services. Although it took New Jersey more than two years longer than the nation to rebuild its job base after the Great Recession, the diversification of the Garden State’s industrial base should make the state a little less cyclical than it has been in the past.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor and Wells Fargo Securities

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $12 million in Quick Release Emergency Relief Funds for Hurricane Sandy Damage in New Jersey

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced he is making $12 million in quick release emergency relief funds immediately available to New Jersey and Connecticut to help begin repairing the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, while assessments continue throughout the Northeast to determine the full extent of the damage. Today’s announcement follows President Obama’s call for federal agencies to act quickly and bring all available resources to bear as quickly as possible.  It also builds on the disaster assistance efforts President Obama approved in the last several days, including major disaster declarations, which make federal assistance – like these emergency relief funds – available to supplement state and local response and recovery efforts.

The funds – $10 million for New Jersey and $2 million for Connecticut – mark another installment of federal-aid highway funds going toward repairing damage from Hurricane Sandy.  Earlier this week, DOT approved $17 million in quick release emergency relief funds – $10 million for New York; $3 million for Rhode Island; and $4 million for North Carolina.

“President Obama made it clear that we need to do all we can to help communities get their transportation systems up and running and we are doing that,” said Secretary LaHood.  “These emergency relief funds represent only the start of our commitment to the region’s recovery.”

Quick release emergency funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are used for a variety of repairs to roads, bridges and tunnels that are immediately necessary.  New Jersey will use the funding to help maintain essential traffic flow and repair sections of highway necessary to prevent further damage; Connecticut will use it for general emergency repairs to federal aid highways.

“New Jersey and Connecticut can count on our full support as their transportation systems resume service,” Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.  “Mobility is the first step toward recovery, and we will work with officials in both states to ensure that happens as quickly as possible.”
 
FHWA’s emergency relief program provides funds for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid roads and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. Restoring critical infrastructure is essential to enabling first responders and relief workers to access impacted communities and to quickly restoring services to impacted residents.