Newly inaugurated Gov. Phil Murphy has inherited a healthy unemployment rate, and a state economy that has consistently added private sector job growth since Feb. 2010, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report released on Thursday.
The jobs market in New Jersey decreased slightly by 11,400 jobs since December, but the state continues to employ roughly 4.1 million people, a number that has stayed steady over the past several months.
The largest gains in employment continue to come from the leisure and hospitality industry, which made up almost 40 percent of New Jersey’s new jobs according to a prior report. The industry added the most jobs with 2,800 new openings since Dec., followed by manufacturing (+1,900 jobs) and professional and business services (+1,300 jobs).
Trade, transportation and utilities continued to report decreased openings (-6,100 jobs), followed by construction (-4,300 jobs), education and health services (-2,100 jobs), financial activities (-1,800 jobs), information (-1,100 jobs) and other services (-500 jobs).
From Dec. 2016 to Dec. 2017, New Jersey has added roughly 26,700 jobs to the private sector, compared to a decrease of 3,800 in the public sector in that same time frame.
In his first days of office, Murphy has pursued progressive economic policies such as pay equity for women and began preliminary discussions on raising the minimum wage.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will release a more comprehensive economic report on New Jersey’s economy for the calendar year of 2017 in March later this year.