New Jersey’s economy continues to recover from the pandemic after adding 14,800 jobs in April and dropping the unemployment rate from 4.2% to 4.1%, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday. Stated.
Employers say rising inflation and rising interest rates to counter it could ultimately slow growth, but they continue to struggle to find the workers they need to keep up with demand. I’m here.
Jarred Schastny, new construction manager at Jackson-based roofing and siding contractor All County Exteriors, said:
The monthly employment statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics consist of a survey of employers measuring the number of jobs and a survey of households measuring the unemployment rate.
An April report showed the state’s job market continued to improve rapidly despite concerns that the Federal Reserve needed to put the brakes on the economy to control inflation. .
Inflation: Here’s Where New Jersey Consumers Are Hit Hardest
Notably, the report showed that New Jersey recovered 95% of the jobs it lost during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, surpassing the national recovery rate for the first time.
“This is important,” said James W. Hughes, an economist at Rutgers University. “Proportionally, New York and New Jersey have been hit much harder than the country as a whole.”
Last week saw a hot labor market at Lakewood’s Shoretown Ballpark. There, more than 20 contractors networked with hundreds of students from the Ocean County Technical School District.
For students, it is a good time to graduate.
Daniel Gnad, 18, a senior at Lacey High School, who is currently studying welding, said he applied to the sheet metal workers’ union as an apprentice when he graduated this spring.
It’s not that he needs a job. He already welds grease canisters before school, after school and on weekends at a company in South Toms River.
“I like the way it keeps you on your toes,” said Gnad.
Read more: Could a surge in mortgage rates slow the housing market from overheating?
Toms River’s 18-year-old Amy Graziosi decided early on that sitting at a desk all day wasn’t fun and enrolled in a trade school electrical trade program.
She works for Semper Fi Electric in Brick and didn’t seem worried about the job prospects.
“Especially because of COVID,” Graziosi said. “Everyone is at home and thinking, ‘Oh, I want to add this to the house.’ They’re getting bored, so the demand is high.”
Hughes said New Jersey’s economy is in good shape during the recovery.
For example, the state has no petroleum producers in trouble before gasoline prices soared, or major manufacturers who struggled to source parts from abroad. It had a large business and professional services sector, and its workers continued to work safely from home.
As a result, New Jersey saw its 17th straight month of job growth. There are an average of 18,700 new jobs each month this year, which is on pace to even outperform last year’s record job growth. And we are approaching pre-pandemic employment levels.
The job market appears to be responding to consumer demand, with little sign of a slowdown despite inflation soaring.
In April, 4,700 jobs were added in the leisure and hospitality industry. Trade, transportation and utilities, including retailers and warehouses, added 4,200 jobs.
A hot job market and high inflation pose a daunting challenge ahead for policy makers. Can we raise interest rates to keep prices in check and keep the economy out of recession?
For employers who attended job fairs in Lakewood, the question was on the back of their minds.
Woodbridge-based American Properties is building a 140 townhome project in Middletown that sold out quickly, said senior vice president Kevin Carnahan.
Higher mortgage rates could make mortgages more expensive and slow the housing market. But for now, Kernahan said his vendors are struggling to find enough workers to keep up with orders.
“I think there is a need[for housing]and people will find their way,” he said. .”
Michael L. Diamond is a business reporter who has written on the New Jersey economy for over 20 years. You can contact him at his [email protected].