New numbers show employers in New Jersey continue to hire. In August, 15,400 new positions were added, marking 21 straight months of job growth in the state. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth in July was even stronger than first reported. New Jersey’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 4%.
Companies would like to hire even more workers but are still struggling to find qualified applicants. This week, the labor shortage was the subject of a New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce event. Chamber president Tom Bracken, a member of the NJPBS board of trustees, said this has been the toughest issue for New Jersey companies. According to a study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several factors had led to the labor shortage including enhanced assistance benefits that allowed workers to stay home, early retirements and lack of access to child care.
In an effort to support the child care industry in New Jersey, the state is providing grants to care providers so that they can make improvements to their centers. The state Economic Development Authority hosted an information session on the grants Thursday; another will be held on Monday. Eligible licensed child care centers can apply for grants of up to $200,000. A few local retailers are holding job fairs this week. ShopRite is holding in-person job fairs at some of its stores on Saturday; you can find the locations on its website. And a new company in the Menlo Park Mall wants to hire 150 workers. True Food Kitchen is holding in-person job fairs for the rest of this month.
The state treasurer’s office says revenue collections from major taxes increased in August, with total revenue collections up almost 18% compared to the same period a year ago.