New Jersey saw an increase in the Unemployment Rate during the month of July but also saw the highest labor force participation rate in 10 years in the same month.

The New Jersey State Department of Labor and Workforce Development released the latest Jobs Report this week and the results for July were mixed, to say the least. The state unemployment rate rose from 3.7% to 3.9% in July after the state also had an increase in its job openings rate in June.

The Public Sector saw an increase of 8,400 jobs compared to the Private Sector saw a decrease of 7,400 jobs, with four of the nine private sectors seeing loss of jobs and some downsizing.

Those struggling private industries are Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, Manufacturing, and Other Services.  The four private sectors that saw job growth in July were Construction, Financial Services, Trade and Transportation and Utilities Industry, along with Education and Health Services.  The only private industry that has been unaffected so far this summer is the Information Sector.

New Jersey saw the highest percentage of working-age people who are either employed or actively seeking employment in the month of July since 2013.  The state’s labor force participation rate climbed to 65.5% in a year where New Jersey's median income rates are not keeping up with rising housing costs for homeowners and renters.

These numbers show that New Jersey's economy, like many states, is still on the rebound from the COVID-19 Lockdowns in 2020. Historically, the United States economy is at its best when the Private Sector has grown.

My concern is that during the Summer months when we see people taking vacations and flooding the South Jersey Beach Communities, we saw a decrease in Leisure and Hospitality jobs.  Public Sector jobs increasing are good to get people back to work in the short term and put money in their bank accounts to spend.  But long term New Jersey needs to see more growth from the Private Sector to create a better quality of living for everyone.

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