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New Jersey Sees Strong Job Growth in 2023, January 2024 Data Promising

2023 Employment Data Revision Highlights Upward Trend; January Initiates the Year with Positive Momentum

The New Jersey job market showcased stronger performance than initially reported in 2023, according to revised employment data, with preliminary estimates for January 2024 signaling continued job growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently updated its figures, reflecting an optimistic outlook for the state's economy.

2023: A Year of Significant Job Gains

Following the BLS’s annual benchmark revisions, New Jersey's employment data for 2023 has been adjusted to reflect a more robust job market than previously estimated. The year-over-year gain from December 2022 to December 2023 has been corrected to show an increase of 89,600 jobs, or 2.1 percent, surpassing the earlier estimate of 69,600 jobs or 1.6 percent growth. This adjustment brings the two-year job gain from December 2021 to December 2023 to a total of 205,300 jobs, indicating 6,000 more jobs than initially thought.

The benchmark revision revealed that seven out of nine major private industry sectors experienced job growth during this period. Notable gains were observed in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation, and utilities, among others. Remarkably, all nine sectors have now surpassed their pre-pandemic employment levels, marking a significant recovery milestone.

January 2024: Continued Growth Amid Stable Unemployment

Preliminary data for January 2024 suggests a continuation of this positive trend, with an increase of 20,800 jobs and the unemployment rate holding steady at 4.8 percent. The private sector was the main driver of this growth, contributing to 89 percent of the increase. Professional and business services, education and health services, and construction were among the sectors that saw significant gains.

Looking Ahead

With New Jersey's labor force participation rate also showing improvement, being above the pre-pandemic level, the state appears to be on a firm path toward sustained economic growth. The anticipation builds for the forthcoming BLS data for February 2024, set to be released on March 21, offering further insights into New Jersey's labor market trajectory.

This upward revision and promising start to 2024 are encouraging signs for New Jersey's economy, suggesting resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges. Stakeholders, from policymakers to businesses and workers, can look forward to continued progress in the state's job market.

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