You are on page 1of 18

Central Regional

Community Fact Book

Mercer County Edition

New Jersey Department of Labor
and Workforce Development

Division of Labor Market and
Demographic Research

December 2005
Preface

T he Regional Community Fact Book for Mercer County provides a
snapshot of its people and its economy. Included are facts and fig-
ures on current industry trends, population, unemployment and income. The
Fact Book also provides a look into the future and provides the latest popu-
lation, labor force, industry and occupational projections.

The Regional Community Fact Book series is meant to be a reference
for use in local and regional economic development planning and for employ-
ment and training providers. Fact Books will be published annually for New
Jersey’s 21 counties, grouped into three regions (northern, central and
southern).

Acknowledgements

T his publication was prepared by JoAnne Caramelo and Vin Samuel
of the Bureau of Labor Market Information, Division of Labor Mar-
ket and Demographic Research. Layout was done by Chester S. Chinsky.

Questions regarding information contained in this publication should be
directed to JoAnne Caramelo by phone at (609) 633-0553 or by e-mail:
joanne.caramelo@dol.state.nj.us.

To obtain copies of this publication or other county editions, please
contact Lester Wright by phone at (609) 292-7567 or by e-mail:
lester.wright @dol.state.nj.us.
Table of Contents

County Snapshot ..................................................................................... 1

Industry Trends, Mercer vs. New Jersey ....................................... 2

Employment .............................................................................................. 5

Employment Gains and Losses ............................................................. 6

Wages ........................................................................................................ 7

Per Capita Personal Income ................................................................. 8

Unemployment Rates ............................................................................. 8

Characteristics of the Unemployed ................................................... 9

Population ................................................................................................ 10

Population Projections .......................................................................... 11

Industry Projections ............................................................................ 12

Projected Occupational Demand........................................................ 13

Labor Force Projections ...................................................................... 14
County Snapshot
Central Region
Population (July 1, 2004 estimate): 365,000
Change from Census 2000: +14,510 or + 4.1%
Somerset Percent of New Jersey Total: 4.2%
Middlesex

Mercer Monmouth
Total Nonfarm Employment (2004): 231,100
Percent of New Jersey Total: 5.8%
Change from 1999: +23,700
Ocean

Largest Industry (2004): Government
Government: 62,400
Percent of Total County Employment: 27.0%

Private Sector Wage (2004 annual average): $49,100
Percent of New Jersey Average: 103.0%
Change From 1999: +$8,200

Industry With Highest Average Annual
Wage (2004): Management of Companies & Enterprises: $116,200

Per Capita Personal Income (2003): $41,500
Percent of New Jersey Per Capita Income: 105.0%

Number of Unemployment Insurance Claimants (2004 annual average)
average): 3,150

Unemployment Rate (2004 annual average): 4.2%
5-year High (2002): 5.1%
5-year Low (2000): 3.0%
New Jersey Rate (2004): 4.8%

Building Permits (single-family residential,2004): 932
Rank Among New Jersey Counties: 9

1 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Industry Trends, Mercer vs. New Jersey
Between 1999 and 2004, Mercer County’s total nonfarm employment increased at nearly
four times the rate of the state (11.4 % vs. 2.6%). Mercer added jobs in each year
while the state lost jobs in 2002 and 2003.

The county’s financial activities payrolls increased 28.2 percent; about four times faster
than the state. The opening of Merrill Lynch’s campus in Hopewell Township contrib-
uted to the county’s strong growth.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector saw rapid county expansion (16.4%)
while statewide payrolls remained level (0.2%). Several new shopping complexes an-
chored by grocery stores, home improvement centers and discount department stores
were constructed during the period to meet the increasing demand of the area’s
growing population. Also, a sophisticated web of interstate highways that intersects
the county make Mercer a prime location for development of modern distribution
centers.

Although the county’s professional and business services payrolls declined faster than
statewide payrolls at the start of the recession, the county’s payrolls rebounded sooner
than in the state. The county added jobs for the last two years and grew more rapidly
than the state during the 1999-2004 period.

Note: Use of an index facilitates comparison between two separate data elements.

Mercer County and New Jersey Mercer County and New Jersey
Total Employment: 1999-2004 Construction Employment: 1999-2004
114 130

112 125
110
120
108
115
106
110
104
105
102

100 100
(1999=100) (1999=100)
98 95
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Mercer New Jersey Mercer New Jersey

Mercer County Community Fact Book 2
Industry Trends, Mercer vs. New Jersey

Mercer County and New Jersey Mercer County and New Jersey
Manufacturing Employment: 1999-2004 Trade, Transportation & Utilities Employment: 1999-2004
115 120

110
115
105

100 110
95

90 105

85
100
80
(1999=100) (1999=100)
75 95
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Mercer New Jersey Mercer New Jersey

Mercer County and New Jersey Mercer County and New Jersey
Information Employment: 1999-2004 Financial Activities Employment: 1999-2004
120 135

110
125

100
115
90

105
80
(1999=100) (1999=100)
70 95
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Mercer New Jersey Mercer New Jersey

3 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Industry Trends, Mercer vs. New Jersey

Mercer County and New Jersey Mercer County and New Jersey
Professional & Business Services Employment: 1999-2004 Education & Health Services Employment: 1999-2004
110 120

115
105

110
100
105

95
100
(1999=100) (1999=100)
90 95
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Mercer New Jersey Mercer New Jersey

Mercer County and New Jersey Mercer County and New Jersey
Leisure & Hospitality Employment: 1999-2004 Other Services Employment: 1999-2004
145 115

135
110

125
105
115

100
105

(1999=100) (1999=100)
95 95
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Mercer New Jersey Mercer New Jersey

Mercer County Community Fact Book 4
Employment
Mercer County
Total Employment: 1999 — 2004
240,000

235,000

230,000
B
B
B
225,000
B
220,000

215,000
B
210,000
B
205,000

200,000
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Total nonfarm payrolls in Mercer County increased by 23,700 or 11.4 percent be-
tween 1999 and 2004. The county has experienced annual job growth for eight con-
secutive years.

Mercer County
Total Employment by Industry: 1999 & 2004
Construction

Manufacturing

Trade/Transp./Utilities

Information

Financial Activities

Prof./Business Services

Educ./Health Services

Leisure/Hospitality

Other Services

Government

0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 70,000

2004 1999

Because of the concentration of government jobs in Trenton, New Jersey’s capital,
the largest employment sector in Mercer County was government which comprised
27.0 percent of total payroll employment in 2004. Construction, the county’s small-
est sector, accounted for 2.5 percent of payrolls.

5 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Employment Gains and Losses
Net Job Creation by Industry
Mercer County, 1999 — 2004
10,000

7,500

5,000

2,500

0

-2,500
Construction Manufact- Trade/ Information Financial Prof./ Education/ Leisure/ Other Government
uring Transport./ Activities Business Health Hospitality Services
Utilities Services Services

Government, Mercer County’s largest employment sector, added the most jobs (8,700)
between 1999 and 2004, accounting for 36.7 percent of the county’s overall job gain.
Some factors contributing to this gain were increased staffing at the Division of Youth
and Family Services and the return of Motor Vehicle Commission workers to the state
payroll after de-privatization of the agency. Mercer’s fastest-growing sector over the
1999 to 2004 period was leisure and hospitality, which increased by 35.8 percent.

Mercer County, Private Sector
Gains, Losses and Net Growth by Industry: 2003
2,500

2,250

2,000

1,750

1,500

1,250

1,000

750

500

250

0

-250
Construction Manufact- Trade/ Information Financial Prof./ Education/ Leisure/ Other
uring Transport./ Activities Business Health Hospitality Services
Utilities Services Services

GAINS LOSSES NET

Source: Local Employment Dynamics (LED) data from the US Census Bureau.

Among private sector employers in 2003, Mercer County’s trade, transportation and
utilities sector had the most job openings. However, a high turnover rate for some
components in this sector, like retail trade, cause the sector’s net job growth to be
relatively low.
The education, health and social services sector realized the greatest net job gain in
2003.
Mercer County Community Fact Book 6
Wages

Mercer County, Private Sector
Average Annual Wage: 1999 — 2004
$55,000

$50,000 $49,084
$47,000
$46,007
$45,218
$45,000
$43,331
$40,905
$40,000

$35,000

$30,000
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Between 1999 and 2004, Mercer County’s private sector average annual wage increased
by 20.0 percent. The largest single-year increase, 5.9 percent or $2,426, occurred in
2000.
The annual average private sector wage in Mercer County has been above the state’s
for four consecutive years (2001 — 2004).

Mercer County and New Jersey, Private Sector
Average Annual Wage by Industry: 2004
Total Private Sector

Construction

Manufacturing

Trade/Transp./Utilities

Information

Financial Activities

Prof./Business Services

Education/Health Services

Leisure/Hospitality

Other Services

$0 $20,000 $40,000 $60,000 $80,000

Mercer County New Jersey

In 2004, the county’s annual average private sector wage in the educational and health
services sector was 19.2 percent higher than that of the state. This is due to Mercer’s
concentration of institutions of higher learning, like Princeton University, and prepa-
ratory schools, like The Lawrenceville School and The Peddie School.

7 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Per Capita Personal Income
Mercer County’s per capita personal Mercer County and New Jersey
income reached $41,500 in 2003. Be- Per Capita Personal Income: 1998 — 2003
$45,000
tween 1998 and 2003, the county’s
per capital personal income increased $40,000
$ $ $
by 17.9 percent, a rate slightly $
greater than the state’s. $35,000
$
$

The county’s per capita personal in- $30,000

come is the sixth highest among New
Jersey’s 21 counties. It has remained $25,000
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003
higher than the state’s since 1969.
Mercer $ New Jersey

Personal income is made up of three components: wage earnings, dividends/interest/rent,
and transfer payments (such as welfare benefits, social security and veteran’s benefits).
Mercer County’s wage earnings component increased the most from 1998 to 2003. Earn-
ings of county residents (31.2%) increased at a higher rate than earnings of New Jersey
residents (24.9%).

Unemployment Rates

Following a decline from 1998 to
Mercer County and New Jersey
2000, Mercer County’s unemploy-
Unemployment Rate Trends: 1998 — 2004
7.0 ment rate increased for two con-
secutive years through the reces-
6.0
B B sion. As the county rebounded, its
unemployment rate declined from
5.0 J J B 2002 to 2004.
B B
J J B J
4.0
B J
Since 1990, Mercer County’s unem-

3.0 J ployment rate has remained below
that of the state.
2.0
1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

B New Jersey J Mercer

Mercer County Community Fact Book 8
Characteristics of the Unemployed
Mercer County
Unemployment Insurance Claimants: 2003-2004
2003 2004
Annual Annual Change 2003-2004
Category Average Average Number Percent
Total Insured Unemployed 3,395 3,150 -245 -7.2
By Gender
Male 1,955 1,774 -181 -9.3
Female 1,441 1,376 -65 -4.5
By Race
White 1,699 1,518 -181 -10.7
Black 1,202 1,193 -9 -0.7
Asian 121 87 -34 -28.1
Other 374 352 -22 -5.9
By Ethnicity
Hispanic 389 392 3 0.8
Not Hispanic 2,740 2,548 0 0.0
Chose Not To Answer 267 209 -58 -21.7
By Age of Claimant
Under 25 185 256 71 38.4
25 through 34 811 784 -27 -3.3
35 through 44 983 861 -122 -12.4
45 through 54 801 717 -84 -10.5
55 through 64 447 404 -43 -9.6
65 and over 169 129 -40 -23.7
By Industry
Construction 332 309 -23 -6.9
Manufacturing 301 280 -21 -7.0
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 579 576 -3 -0.5
Wholesale Trade 132 117 -15 -11.4
Retail Trade 318 334 16 5.0
Information 117 95 -22 -18.8
Financial Activities 179 157 -22 -12.3
Professional and Business Services 658 634 -24 -3.6
Educational and Health Services 458 473 15 3.3
Leisure and Hospitality 189 224 35 18.5
Other Services 82 82 0 0.0
Government and Other 500 320 -180 -36.0

The number of persons filing for unemployment compensation benefits in Mercer
County decreased by 7.2 percent between 2003 and 2004. The age group with the
largest number of unemployment claimants in 2004 was the 35-44 year old segment.

Most of the county’s unemployment claimants were employed in the professional and
business services sector. The sector that saw the biggest percent decline in claim-
ants over the year was the “government and other” sector.

9 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Population
From 1970 to 2004, Mercer County ranked Mercer County
14th among New Jersey’s 21 counties for Total Population: 1970 — 2004
400,000
population growth. The 18.8 percent popu-
lation increase was slightly less than the
state’s rate of 20.6 percent. While the 350,000

county experienced modest population
growth during the 1980s (6.6%) and 1990s 300,000

(7.7%), there was little growth in the
1970s (1.3%). 250,000

200,000
1970 1980 1990 2000 2004

Mercer County At 44.8 percent, Mercer County had the sec-
Racial/Hispanic Origin: 2000 - 2004 ond-fastest growing Asian population in the
Percent Percent state from 2000 to 2004. The county’s
Race in 2004 in 2000 growth rate is more than twice that of the
White 70.6 72.9 state (21.6%).
Black 20.6 20.5
Asian 7.1 5.1 Persons of Hispanic origin increased from
Multiracial 1.3 1.1 9.7 percent in 2000 to 11.4 percent in 2004.
American Indian/Alaska Native 0.2 0.2
Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 0.2 0.1
Total* 100.0 100.0
Hispanic Origin (may be of any race) 11.4 9.7
* May not add to 100% due to rounding

West Windsor has been the county’s fast- Mercer County
est-growing municipality since 1970, with Ten Largest Municipalities
a population increase of 280.3 percent. Rank Municipality Population
However, while West Windsor experi- 1 Hamilton township 90,058
enced most of its population gain in the 2 Trenton city 85,379
70s and 80s, Washington Township was 3 Ewing township 37,057
the fastest-growing municipality in the 4 Lawrence township 31,391
5 East Windsor township 26,872
90s. Its 96.8 percent population increase
6 West Windsor township 24,458
from 1990 to 2004 was nearly twice as
7 Hopewell township 17,582
high as West Windsor’s 52.7 percent 8 Princeton township 17,349
population increase. 9 Princeton borough 13,590
10 Washington township 11,445

Mercer County Community Fact Book 10
Population Projections
Mercer County’s population is projected Mercer County
to add 31,500 persons from 2002 to 2012. Population Projections: 2002 — 2012
500,000
Its rate of growth (8.8%) is slightly above
450,000
the state’s (8.1%) and ranks 12th among
400,000
New Jersey’s 21 counties.
350,000

300,000

250,000

200,000

150,000

100,000
2002* 2007** 2012**
*estimate **projection

The county’s 15-to-24-year-old population
Mercer County
Projections for Select Age Groups: 2002 — 2012 is projected to realize the largest 2002-
120,000 2012 gain. It is anticipated that this group
100,000 will add 19,700 persons or increase by 38.2
80,000
percent.
60,000

40,000

20,000

0
0-14 15-24 25-44 45-64 65+

2002* 2012**
*estimate **projection

By 2012, Mercer’s fastest-growing racial Mercer County
group is projected to be “other races” (in- Projected Population Growth
cludes Asian, American Indian/Alaska by Race, 2002 - 2012
100
Native, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Is-
lander). It is anticipated that this group 80

will add 18,400 persons, or account for 47
60
Percent

percent of the county’s total population
growth. 40

20

0
White Black Other Races Multi-Racial

11 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Industry Projections
Mercer County, 2002 - 2012
Ten Industries with the Greatest Employment Growth
Change: 2002-2012
2002 2012 Percent
Industry Title Jobs Jobs Number Total Annual
Educational services 19,750 24,950 5,200 26.2 2.3
Professional and technical services 18,300 21,050 2,750 15.0 1.4
Administrative and support services 10,550 12,900 2,350 22.3 2.0
Food services and drinking places 9,250 11,500 2,250 24.3 2.1
Ambulatory health care services 6,250 8,150 1,900 30.6 2.6
Local government educational services 10,750 12,050 1,300 12.1 1.1
Social assistance 3,850 5,100 1,250 32.2 2.8
Food and beverage stores 5,750 6,900 1,150 19.8 1.8
Merchant wholesalers, nondurable goods 2,350 3,300 950 40.0 3.3
Membership associations and organizations 4,450 5,300 850 18.9 1.7

Mercer County is projected to add 25,450 jobs by 2012. This figure is anticipated to
account for 5.3 percent of statewide job growth.

Nearly one of every five jobs is projected to be in educational services, the county’s
top-ranking industry for employment growth.

Mercer County, 2002 - 2012
Ten Industries with the Greatest Employment Declines
Change: 2002-2012
2002 2012 Percent
Industry Title Jobs Jobs Number Total Annual
State government, excl. hospitals and schools 42,000 41,450 -550 -1.3 -0.1
Machinery manufacturing 1,500 1,200 -300 -20.0 -2.3
Credit intermediation and related activities 2,600 2,300 -300 -10.8 -1.1
Computer & electronic product manufacturing 1,050 850 -200 -19.8 -2.2
Publishing industries, except Internet 3,450 3,250 -200 -6.4 -0.7
Local government, excl. hospitals and schools 6,900 6,750 -150 -2.4 -0.2
Food manufacturing 850 750 -100 -9.6 -1.0
General merchandise stores 2,750 2,650 -100 -3.1 -0.3
Federal government, excl. postal service 900 800 -100 -9.8 -1.0
Fabricated metal product manufacturing 500 450 -50 -10.9 -1.2

Analysis of the industries anticipated to have employment declines from 2002 to 2012
reveals that about one of every three jobs lost will be in a manufacturing industry.

The industries that have large projected percent declines have a relatively small em-
ployment base.

Mercer County Community Fact Book 12
Projected Occupational Demand
Mercer County
Occupations With The Most Projected Job Openings, 2002-2012
2004
Annual Average Job Openings Annual Skill
1 2
Occupation Total Growth Replacements Wage Level Outlook

Cashiers 310 90 220 $17,820 Low Good
Retail Salespersons 260 70 190 23,880 Low Good
Registered Nurses 230 120 120 56,870 High Good
Waiters and Waitresses 210 70 140 17,520 Low Good
3
Business Operations Specialists, All Other 160 70 90 63,630 High INA
Office Clerks, General 150 20 130 27,210 Low Good
Combined Food Preparation and
Serving Workers 140 50 90 16,630 Low Good
Customer Service Representatives 140 80 60 32,480 Low Good
Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and
Housekeeping 140 60 80 20,920 Low Good
Secretaries, Except Legal, Medical,
and Executive 120 0 120 36,710 Low Good
Teacher Assistants 100 50 50 24,790 Low Good
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers 100 0 100 23,540 Low Good
Management Analysts 90 40 50 72,700 High Good
Correctional Officers and Jailers 90 40 50 56,060 Low Good
Counter Attendants, Cafeteria
and Food Concession 90 30 70 14,200 Low Good
General and Operations Managers 90 40 60 122,620 High Good
Managers, All Other 90 0 90 87,250 Moderate INA
Laborers and Freight, Stock and
Material Movers 90 10 80 20,650 Low Good
Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers 80 30 50 25,460 Low Good
Child Care Workers 80 30 50 18,640 Low Good
1. "Growth" and "Replacements" may not add to "Total" due to rounding.
2. High Skills: Associate's degree or higher.
Moderate Skills: Long-term on-the-job training, work experience or post secondary/vocational/technical training.
Low Skills: Short-term or moderate-term on-the-job training, including up to 12 months of on-the-job experience and informal training.
3. INA = Information not available.

Mercer County is projected to have 8,340 annual job openings per year through 2012,
or 5.4 percent of statewide annual openings. The county’s top twenty ranked occupa-
tions by annual job openings are anticipated to account for 33 percent of all annual job
openings.

Overall, 34.6 percent of Mercer’s annual job openings are projected to have high edu-
cational and training requirements. However, many of the top-ranking occupations by
annual openings have a lower skills level and a good outlook, indicative of a large number
of entry-level positions and the need for “replacement workers”, or workers to fill job
vacancies created as members of the workforce retire or change occupations.

13 New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development
Labor Force Projections
Mercer County’s labor force is projected to Mercer County
increase by 11 percent between 2002 and Projected Labor Force Growth
2012. Whites will make the largest contri- by Race, 2002 - 2012
bution to the labor force; however, with an Other Races
anticipated increase of 70 percent, persons 3%
of “other races” will be the fastest-growing
group.
Multi-Racial White
37% 43%
Note: Multi-racial refers to persons that
are of two or more races. “Other races” in- Black
cludes Asian, American Indian/Alaska Na- 17%

tive, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

The contributions by Hispanics and Non-
Mercer County
Hispanics to the projected labor force gain
Projected Labor Force Growth by
Hispanic Origin, 2002 - 2012
are nearly equal (see chart at left). How-
ever, the rate of growth for the Hispanic
labor force (52.6%) is projected to be sig-
nificantly higher than that of the Non-His-
Non-Hispanic panic labor force (6.4%).
47.6% 52.4%
Hispanic

Analysis of Mercer’s labor force by gender
Mercer County
reveals a relatively equal ratio of males ver- Projected Labor Force Growth by
sus females. By 2012, each group is pro- Gender, 2002 - 2012
jected to make an equal contribution to the
growth of the county’s labor force.

48.7%
Male Female
51.3%

Mercer County Community Fact Book 14