Will These 5 NJ Industries Remain the Fastest Growing in 2018?


Every year as the days wind down to a new calendar year, businesses throughout the state start looking at the state of the economy and whether or not their particular industry will see any changes ahead. This year is no different, and so the top 5 industries of 2017 are reading the ‘signs of the times’ trying to plan for the immediate future. With minimum wage set to rise by $0.16 per hour, no great changes are expected there, so is there anything else in the wind which could herald a new economy? These are currently the top five industries in New Jersey but whether or not there will be any surprises is anyone’s guess at this point.

1. Healthcare Services

This is the industry that employs the most people in the state and because it is so far out ahead of any other field, there should be no surprises here. As of the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, just over half a million people are employed in the industry, making for a grand total of 13.3 percent of the state’s workforce.

2. Retail

There are currently just over 437,000 people employed in retail trade but being so far behind healthcare at the moment, it is doubtful this industry will shoot up to first position. Even with marketing doing a major push as more and more retailers go online, and a massive manual outreach campaign, retailers probably won’t grow in numbers employed but will certainly make a huge jump in earnings, perhaps putting retail in first place for economic growth.

3. Hospitality

With only 7.3 percent of the state’s workforce employed in hospitality (accommodations and food service), it is again doubtful that this industry will overtake positions 1 or 2. Most of the workers in hospitality are located along New Jersey’s coast where the tourist trade thrives, and while bloggers working through manual outreach can help those businesses thrive in the retail sector, it is doubtful that enough new workers will be added to bring this industry anywhere close to the leading two.

4. Manufacturing

Here again, the BLS doesn’t forecast much of a change through the year 2020 so it is unlikely 2018 will see a significant rise in the manufacturing industry. At the beginning of the current decade there were just over 257,000 workers employed in manufacturing with the largest group in the chemical arena. Second to chemical manufacturing would be the food industry, but those two alone aren’t enough to give much of a boost to the industry as a whole.

5. New Jersey’s Financial Services Sector

Rounding out fifth place is the financial services sector with the latest statistics showing 182,000 workers employed in the field. With Prudential and Chubb both having headquarters in New Jersey and in close proximity to NYC’s global financial district, this one field does have an opportunity to rise above manufacturing going forward. However, no significant changes are expected in the coming year. Growth will be a bit slower than a massive leap ahead in a 12-month period.

These statistics and forecasts are based largely on data from the BLS as reported on patch.com, but given their recording methods straight from every government agency including the IRS, these are the most accurate. No matter whether there is much movement in any one industry, New Jersey residents are looking forward to a prosperous 2018 along with the rest of the nation. Is America going back to work as the new POTUS promised? The new year will tell.


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