The New Jersey job market features a diverse set of companies, including those in the finance, pharmaceutical and manufacturing sectors. The state's economy and 4.6 million workers face ongoing risk due to their reliance on the vulnerable real estate and manufacturing sectors, as well as consolidation in the pharmaceutical and finance sectors. The Garden State experienced relatively minor contraction during the recession, yet has been slow to bounce back completely.
New Jersey Job Opportunities
Many business and employment opportunities in New Jersey result from the state's proximity to New York City. The state's critical Atlantic port supports a solid transportation business, while the Atlantic City area is strong in leisure and hospitality. New Jersey is also home to 184,000 scientists, many of whom work at the elite pharmaceutical companies based in the state.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector drives employment in New Jersey, followed by the government sector. Education/health services is also a critical hiring sector and showed solid growth through the second half of 2011 and into 2012. Government, manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and information services have contracted recently.
New Jersey Employment Trends
The New Jersey job market was not severely impacted by the recession, yet recovery has been slow. The unemployment rate, which peaked at 9.7 percent, was still around 9 percent in early 2012. New Jersey payrolls, which constricted from mid-2008 through mid-2011, have improved only recently. Online hiring dipped slightly in mid-2011, but strengthened again at the end of 2011 and into early 2012; however online opportunities are still below prerecession levels.
From Q2 2012 to Q2 2013, Moody's Analytics is forecasting that New Jersey jobs will increase 1.2 percent, just below the 1.3 percent growth expected in the US job supply during that time.