As unemployment in the United States remained steady this summer at 3.7%, New Jersey’s unemployment numbers dropped from 3.8% to 3.3%. The number of New Jersey’s employed residents is at an all-time high, rising by over 60,000 jobs in the past 12 months. The state is currently tied for the 16th lowest unemployment rate in the United States (compared to being tied with Maryland for 38th last year).
Though half of a percentage point may not seem like much on paper, New Jersey’s rapid employment increase has sparked national attention. It is one of the areas of the United States experiencing notable economic growth, resulting in more and better jobs. Here are four key insights into why New Jersey’s job market has grown so quickly in recent months.
1. Tech Jobs Are Among the Highest-Demand, High-Paying Jobs
Business services account for steady job growth in the last year in New Jersey. These services are often a byproduct of substantial job growth, since they often involve jobs that assist growing companies, including each other. From marketing firms to accounting and human resources, the business services industry has increased its employment by almost 14,000 people in the last 12 months.
However, what drives growth in these services is the increase in tech jobs. Many business service companies revolve around new technology that can streamline business processes and help business-to-consumer companies better connect with their target market.
Software developers were the third most in-demand job in July 2019, with an average starting salary of over $100,000. It is also likely that information technology has contributed to major increases in employment in the education and healthcare industries. New Jersey’s geographical and economic proximity to New York City—the “Silicon Valley of the East Coast”—contributes to the increasing demand for tech jobs.
2. Trade Jobs Are Increasing
To accommodate growing businesses with larger workforces, major construction initiatives contributed to significant increases in construction and trade jobs last year. Construction jobs increased by 9,000 in the last 12 months as projects push into 2020.
As New Jersey and New York City remain a major seaport entry for international trade, increases in manufacturing have amplified construction growth for the state. Additionally, the state’s aging infrastructure, including major interstates and water mains, demand immediate attention, along with a bigger workforce. Improvements to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, as well as the New Jersey Department of Transportation, are expected to exceed $8 billion before the end of 2019.
3. Healthcare Remains One of the Strongest Employing Industries
Incorporating hospitals, pharmacology, and life sciences, New Jersey’s healthcare industry continues to notably decrease unemployment. Of the top ten categories of job postings last in July 2019, two of those categories are registered nurses and health services managers—accounting for over 15% of all job postings from the top ten in-demand jobs last month.
This applies to the rest of the country as well. Healthcare-related jobs are growing in demand, particularly as Baby Boomers require more home care services. Additionally, advances in biomedical engineering and pharmacology allow more physicians to treat more diseases and disorders.
Financial jobs have not enjoyed the same growth and have lowered the median wage in New Jersey, but healthcare professionals enjoy above-average wages. Healthcare jobs, along with tech jobs, have contributed to the state’s inflation-adjusted income increase to above the national average last year by .5%.
4. New Jersey Is One of the Nation’s Leaders of Durable Goods Manufacturing
Durable goods are high-priced items that people and businesses typically purchase during times of economic prosperity. For the past three years, New Jersey has dominated in durable goods manufacturing growth, and this shows in the state’s employment numbers. Among the top manufactured exports are mid-size automobiles, cell phones, and medical instruments.
A sub-category of durable goods is advanced manufactured products. An example of advanced manufacturing is chemical manufacturing, where the average employee salary exceeds $60,000 a year.
In an era where the media and political campaigns weaponize overseas manufacturing data, New Jersey has found a way to bring those jobs home to the United States. Employment numbers within the state’s manufacturing industry are not only stable, but they are growing steadily.
The Labor Market Landscape
Job-seekers considering relocating to or around New Jersey have reason to feel optimistic. New Jersey passed more than ten states in unemployment rankings in the last year alone. Major increases in tech, construction, healthcare, and manufacturing jobs have more than made up for losses suffered by finance and securities companies in the last few years.
Whether you’re looking for qualified employees or the right role, the Goodkind Group can help. To learn more about how we can match you with a top employer or boost your company’s recruiting efforts, contact a consultant today at (212) 378-0700 or visit our website.