The March Mixed Employment Report shows a decline in the number of jobs and an increase in the participation rate

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the state Department of Labor and Manpower Development The March jobs report was released on April 20, showing a mix of some positive and lackluster numbers.

On the plus side, New Jersey’s labor force participation rate rose to 64.8%, its highest level since July 2013. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5%, which matches the national rate.

said Charles Steindl, former chief economist for New Jersey, who analyzed the report for Garden State Initiative (GSI). The state’s labor force rose by 18,300 in March, marking the third consecutive month of an increase of more than 10,000. The labor force participation rate of 64.8% was higher than the pre-pandemic cyclical peak of 64.5%. the number of resident workers increased by 16,500; It has increased over the past year by more than 130,000.”

On the flip side, there was a decline of 2,600 jobs in March. The revised February numbers showed a decrease of 3,100 jobs instead of the 4,600 previously estimated.

Leisure and hospitality, which rose by 2,100, was the only major sector that saw a significant rise in March. The biggest drop was 3,500 in professional and business services. This decline has been concentrated in the support component, which includes landscaping services. Much of this likely reflected the weather; March in New Jersey was a rather cool month, after an unusually warm February. Another notable drop was the loss of 1,200 “other” services jobs. , which suggests there is no noticeable fallout here from the banking crisis.”

Steindl noted that this uneven report comes against a background of concern about whether or not a national recession is on the horizon.

“The fairly moderate job losses that we’ve had over the last couple of months don’t really indicate that New Jersey is going through one phase, but, of course, if the nation goes into a recession, New Jersey will see a job loss,” Steindl said.