Here's how unemployment in Essex County, New Jersey compares

Written by:
February 13, 2024

Here's how unemployment in Essex County, New Jersey compares

Essex County's unemployment rate in December was 5.6%—ranked #6 highest out of 21 in the state.

Nationally, unemployment has leveled with pre-COVID rates, measuring between 3.5% and 4% for most of the past two years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed a 3.7% unemployment rate in January. Previously, unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, and those rates remained elevated through late 2021.

Though national unemployment has mostly normalized, local economies vary widely. Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to analyze unemployment in Essex County over time, and how it stacks up within New Jersey and across the nation.

The unemployment rate in Essex County is 1.9 percentage points above the national level, and 0.8 percentage points above the state level. It ranks #6 among counties in New Jersey—ranked first by the preliminary December 2023 unemployment rate, then breaking ties by the number of unemployed people. It trails behind Passaic County, with an unemployment rate of 5.7%, but surpasses Camden County (4.9%).

In real terms, it means an estimated 22,167 of Essex County's approximately 396,029 working residents are out of a job at the moment. That's 816 more than last month and 7,068 more than a year ago. Some economists fret another recession may be on the horizon, which would drive unemployment up with business closures and layoffs.

This story was produced using automation across 3,100 counties, boroughs, and parishes, based on writing and data reporting by Paxtyn Merten.

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