Private sector employment in New Jersey reached an historic high in November and is now 86,400 jobs higher than the peak employment point before the last recession, with 334,400 more jobs reported now than in February 2010, the low point during the recession, according to data released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Preliminary estimates from the BLS show employers in the Garden State reporting 4,136,700 jobs, the highest level in New Jersey history. The data for November also show total nonfarm wage and salary employment increased by 6,400, with the majority of the gains recorded in the private sector (+6,300) of the state’s economy (+100 in the public sector).

Longer term data show New Jersey’s private sector employers have added 45,400 jobs over the past year (November 2016 – November 2017). In the first 11 months of 2017, private sector employment was up by 35,900 jobs.

Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released October estimates were revised higher, up by 4,600, for an over-the-month (September-October) gain of 7,000 private sector jobs. Total nonfarm jobs for October actually increased by 6,300. Preliminary estimates had initially showed an over-the-month increase of 1,700 total nonfarm jobs, with only a 2,600 rise in the private sector.

The November preliminary estimates also showed New Jersey’s labor participation rate continued to best the national rate, 63.3 percent vs. 62.7 percent. The unemployment rate, however, also ticked up by 0.2 percentage point to 5.1 percent in November from 4.9 percent in October, according to preliminary estimates from BLS.

In November, job gains were posted in five of nine major private industry sectors. Sectors that increased were education and health services (+3,300), financial activities (+2,100), leisure and hospitality (+1,600), construction (+900), and information (+200). Sectors that recorded a loss included trade, transportation and utilities (-1,400), manufacturing (-300), and professional and business services (-200).