A robust understanding of our local economy enables the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board to align workforce and economic development initiatives while generating policy based on the needs of local employers as well as the intelligence gathered from our system partners.

To help inform and provide data for decision making, The GRWDB staff compiles and reviews custom data reports from our state partners, and reviews analysis of trends in employment, human resources management, and workforce delivery efforts in general.

New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Labor Market Information

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Office of Research and Information provides a host of regularly updated labor market information data sets to the Greater Raritan Workforce Development Board on a quarterly basis. The area’s labor market analyst also is available to help the GRWDB staff with market-specific requests initiated by different parties, including businesses and individuals.

The coronavirus pandemic, however, has upended many of the businesses and trends of the past several years. This includes who is working, statewide and in Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Preliminary unemployment filings equate to a 20 percent unemployment rate in the two counties. GRWDB staff, working with state partners, continue to share the latest information with board and committee members, governmental officials and local businesses, to support present and future decision-making around resources and employment needs.

The Greater Raritan Unemployment Tracker was developed by Somerset County Geographic Information Systems using data compiled by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s LMI Bureau within the Office of Research and Information.

To support this direction, the GRWDB has launched the Greater Raritan Unemployment Tracker for Hunterdon and Somerset counties. The site was developed by Somerset County Geographic Information Systems using data compiled by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s LMI Bureau within the Office of Research and Information. The data used for this site comes from self-reported unemployment claims and not all claimants fill out all available fields.

But the tracker, which is updated weekly with new unemployment claims, helps create a picture of which sectors have been impacted most heavily since the pandemic began, and provides directional guidance for programs from the board and its partners. The GRWDB also has detailed characteristics of the newly unemployed which provide further details on how is being impacted and which industries may need additional support.

Among the latest resources developed by the Office of Research and Information is the Labor Demands Occupation List: 2020. Effective July 1, 2020, this list aggregates several factors to reach its conclusions, including the occupation’s total employment, its short-term historical growth, and whether it has a strong projected growth rate. This list is used in different ways to support many programs, including approval for training courses for those in the One-Stop system.

While the labor demand occupation list is based on a comprehensive analysis of supply and demand factors on a statewide basis, state officials recognize that local labor market conditions may differ from those determined for the state. Local Workforce Development Boards can request that additional occupations be added to the labor demand list for their area if they demonstrate that there is a “significant excess of demand over supply for adequately trained workers” in the surrounding labor market area.

While unemployment is at a record high, businesses are hiring. This is reflected in the following two reports: Greater Raritan Labor Insight Analysis: Employment Trends June 21, 2020 to Sept. 17, 2020; and   Greater Raritan Labor Insight Analysis: April 22 to July 20, 2020. This state report used Burning Glass data to provide near real-time data about job postings in the area and around the state.

Census information can be combined with other data sets to produce an array of reports. Following are two reports produced at the end of July 2020, to reflect labor demographic information in our two counties over the past year:

More data for comparison

These reports can be compared to the following sets produced by the state prior to the coronavirus pandemic:

At the September 26, 2019, GRWDB Meeting, the Greater Raritan’s labor market analyst offered a comprehensive labor market information presentation, detailing in-demand certificates, top baseline skills, job postings data, occupational analyses and much more; the report is below.

Additionally, the NJ DLWD offers reports detailing labor market information such as unemployment rates as well as employment trends. Browse the most recent reports covering the entire State of New Jersey below.

For more NJ DLWD labor market information, visit the Labor Market Information website and explore key industry reports, employment and wage outcomes, local employment dynamics and a suite of other research resources.

For U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts about Hunterdon and Somerset counties, go here.

For further Hunterdon County information, go here. For further Somerset County information, go here.

This Future of Work in NJ Industry Series report from Focus NJ and NJBIA also provided some detailed analysis on business trends.

Annual Reports

To creatively document the activities and performance of the Board and Career Centers throughout the program year, The GRWDB has made available our most recent Annual Reports: