New Jersey’s unemployment rose sharply in 2023, leaving economic experts wondering whether a rocky road is ahead in the new year.
The state unemployment rate climbed from 3.4% in January to 4.7% in November, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. November’s figure means New Jersey has the third-highest unemployment rate in the nation. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.7% in November, up just 0.3% since January.
And the Garden State’s rising unemployment rate is outpacing the national average by increasing at one of the fastest rates. The majority of states either saw declines in their unemployment rates or stayed roughly even.
“It wasn’t shocking or overly surprising, but it was unexpected to see New Jersey outpace other states,” said William Irving of the New Jersey State Policy Lab at Rutgers University. “My expectation is we either start to see other states follow this pattern, or it’s an indication New Jersey could take a harder landing than the rest of the nation.”