Job growth continued for the 15th consecutive month in February as New Jersey employers added 25,900 jobs to their payrolls, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in February.

Total nonfarm wage and salary employment in New Jersey reached a seasonally adjusted level of 4,154,100, with the February gains concentrated entirely in the private sector (+26,200) of the state’s economy. New Jersey has now recovered 658,300 jobs, or about 90 percent of the number lost in March and April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released total nonfarm employment estimates for January were revised higher by 3,100 jobs to show an over-the-month (January – February) increase of 11,400 jobs. Preliminary estimates had shown an over-the-month gain of 8,300 jobs. The state’s January unemployment rate was revised downward by 0.1 percentage point to 5.1 percent.

In February, employment increases were recorded in eight out of nine major private sectors. Sectors that recorded job gains included trade, transportation, and utilities (+9,000), leisure and hospitality (+5,200), education and health services (+4,300), other services (+3,100), professional and business services (+2,300), construction (+1,300), manufacturing (+800), and information (+200). Over the month, public sector employment decreased by 300 jobs.

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