Counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey

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July 8, 2024
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Counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey

Despite a relatively low unemployment rate, the fear of job losses remains amid ongoing economic uncertainty.

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rates in New Jersey using Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Counties are ranked by their preliminary unemployment rate in May 2024, with initial ties broken by the number of unemployed people within that county, though some ties may remain. County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Economists forecast a waning risk of recession and predict that the U.S. may instead be headed for an incremental slowdown in growth known as a "soft landing." Still, layoffs among major U.S. employers like Amazon to Tesla have sparked concern among Americans. What's more, unemployment has spiked in nearly half the country's states, which often indicates a looming recession, a chief global economist at Piper Sandler told Business Insider. And with sky-high prices after a period of record inflation, savings and unemployment payments may not cover basic expenses for jobless Americans for long.

For comparison, the Great Recession of 2007-09 sent unemployment rates up to 10% as of October 2009, and a full recovery took years. At the height of the COVID-19 recession in April 2020, unemployment hit 14.7%.

Still, as of June 2024, the national unemployment rate remains relatively low at 4.1%, with little change from the previous month. Regional and state employment range widely depending on local economies. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state vary, ranging from just 2% in the Dakotas to 5.3% in Washington D.C.

Read on to see the counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey.

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#21. Hunterdon County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 68,631 people (2,415 unemployed)

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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#20. Morris County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 271,102 people (10,116 unemployed)

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#19. Mercer County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 217,132 people (8,542 unemployed)

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#18. Monmouth County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 3.9%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 349,915 people (13,499 unemployed)

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#17. Warren County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 59,675 people (2,376 unemployed)

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#16. Somerset County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 181,144 people (7,196 unemployed)

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#15. Burlington County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 251,366 people (10,015 unemployed)

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#14. Bergen County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.0%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 507,635 people (20,073 unemployed)

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#13. Ocean County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.2 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 299,677 people (12,422 unemployed)

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#12. Sussex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 78,133 people (3,258 unemployed)

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#11. Middlesex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.2%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 466,739 people (19,705 unemployed)

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#10. Gloucester County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.3%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 163,609 people (7,054 unemployed)

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#9. Hudson County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 381,344 people (17,602 unemployed)

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#8. Camden County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 274,904 people (13,136 unemployed)

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#7. Union County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 4.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 292,719 people (14,097 unemployed)

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#6. Passaic County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.5%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.4 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 255,378 people (13,936 unemployed)

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#5. Salem County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.6%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.3 percentage points
- Total labor force: 31,236 people (1,735 unemployed)

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#4. Essex County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.7%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.5 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 393,860 people (22,636 unemployed)

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#3. Atlantic County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 5.8%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.3 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.2 percentage points
- Total labor force: 123,030 people (7,148 unemployed)

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#2. Cumberland County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.1%
--- 1-month change: Up 0.1 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Up 0.1 percentage points
- Total labor force: 68,634 people (4,217 unemployed)

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#1. Cape May County

- May unemployment rate (preliminary): 6.2%
--- 1-month change: Down 1.9 percentage points
--- 1-year change: Down 0.8 percentage points
- Total labor force: 50,047 people (3,101 unemployed)

This story features data reporting by Paxtyn Merten and is part of a series utilizing data automation across 50 states.

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