Looking for a Job? What Industries in NJ are Hiring?
While New Jersey's economy has seen improvement in recent months, the state's unemployment rate continues to trail the nation. In May, the state added 12,200 jobs, but the unemployment rate held steady at 6.5 percent. Nationally, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent for the month of May.
With thousands still hitting the ground daily in an effort to find work, some industries have more job openings and better opportunities than others in New Jersey.
"We're looking at advanced manufacturing, also financial services. The health care industry is another very strong industry and that's one industry that remained strong even through the Great Recession," said Hal Wirths, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD).
In fact, during the month of May, education and health services added over 2,700 jobs, manufacturing gained over 600 jobs and financial services added over 2,100, according to LWD.
Some industries, like advanced manufacturing, are in need of highly-skilled workers.
"These are good jobs with good benefits," Wirths said.
There has also been growth in retail, hospitality and tourism, which added over 1,000 jobs in May, as well as technology, entrepreneurship and life sciences, according to Wirths.
New Jersey's already popular pharmaceutical industry also continues to expand. "We're still the medicine chest of the world," Wirths said.
For those that are looking to switch fields and enter into one of the state's growing industries, training is essential.
"Community colleges are a great place for folks to be looking for workforce development and opportunities in skill-building," said Michele Siekerka, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.
In some cases, companies are working directly with community colleges, according to Siekerka, by writing criteria and curriculum for the certification program that will lead to jobs in their own company.
"The students walk out (from college) and the jobs are available for them," Siekerka said.
For those looking for work, jobseekers can utilize LWL's online job database, jobs4jersey.com, to get more information on finding employment.
"On this website there is information on what kind of training is needed for what employment positions in different industries," Wirths said. "We also have our Jersey Job Clubs on there that is very helpful for people on how to prepare for jobs."
The clubs can help people with resume writing and interview skills.
The website also lists job opportunities and programs available to help veterans, older workers and ex-offenders.