New Jersey’s Economy: The Top Industries Driving GDP Growth

New Jersey’s Economy: The Top Industries Driving GDP Growth 680 440 Morris County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC)

New Jersey’s Economy The Top Industries Driving GDP Growth


The largest industries driving New Jersey’s economy include pharmaceuticals and life sciences, financial services, manufacturing, technology, and transportation and logistics. There are 13 Fortune 500 companies based in New Jersey as of 2023.


– New Jersey’s largest industries include financial services, transportation and logistics, and life sciences.
– While the technology industry in New Jersey is shrinking, the healthcare and life sciences industry continues to grow due to the concentration of institutions and demand driven by an older population.
– Continued infrastructure development has also buoyed the transportation and logistic industries in New Jersey.

1. Pharmaceuticals and Life Sciences
Life sciences is a growing sector in New Jersey, which is shown by its employment trend. In fact, New Jersey reportedly has the highest concentration worldwide of scientists and engineers in the world. New Jersey’s Life sciences employment has three primary components: pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and medical device manufacturing.The sector employed an average of 76,510 or 2.4% of all private sector workers in the state for 2020 (latest information.) Those numbers comprised about 1.3% on a national scale. Pharmaceutical industry leaders that are based in New Jersey include Johnson & Johnson and Merck & Co. Inc. Over a five-year period from 2015 to 2020, New Jersey’s pharmaceutical industry grew by 19.9%. Teaching hospitals, research institutions, and clinical trial assets are all attractive for these biopharmaceutical developers. Bioclinica and Genesis Biotech also have a presence in New Jersey. New Jersey’s strong public education and post-secondary institutions are a major factor contributing to the presence of highly qualified research talents. New Jersey’s residents older than 65 years old comprise 17.4% of the total population as of July 2022. These demographics have a positive impact on demand for healthcare services, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts home healthcare services will outpace other large verticals. Healthcare services are projected by the New Jersey Department of Labor as one of the fastest-growing industries in the state. From 2018 to 2028, healthcare is expected to add 64,860 jobs at an annual increase of 1.2%

2. Financial Services
New Jersey is an attractive base for financial services firms due to population density and proximity to New York City. Finance industry firms represent industries including banking, investing, such as securities and commodities, insurance, and accounting. Prudential keeps its headquarters in New Jersey, and many other major banks have operations close to New York or Philadelphia. Several large data centers that serve New York financial clients are also located in the state. With more than 218,000 employees in 2020, the financial services industry accounted for 6.8% of total private sector jobs in New Jersey and contributed $32 billion to the state economy; 6.6% of the state’s GDP in 2020.

3. Manufacturing
The manufacturing sector employed nearly 230,000 people in 2020. The sector accounted for approximately $54 billion of state gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, about 10.1% of all output. The average wage of workers in this sector is well above the state private sector average of $74,000, and manufacturing employers paid approximately 7% of all state wages. Since 1990, this sector has experienced job losses, but continued employment indicates a growing sector.

4. Technology
New Jersey is a hub of innovation and home to advanced industries such as the technology industry. It employed 184,395 workers as of 2020, providing 5.8% of state private sector jobs, and contributing $26.9 billion in wages. That makes sense, given the annual average wage of those working in the technology industry had an average annual wage of $146,123. New Jersey’s technology sector primarily consists of computer systems design and related services (40% of employment). From 2004 to 2019, employment in the sector reached its highest in 2007, then declined during the Great Recession from 2008 to 2010. Employment has been on the rise since 2011, although in recent years the technology sector in New Jersey has slowed, due to growing technology hubs in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, and Austin incentivizing workers to move out of state.

5. Transportation and Logistics
Spending on infrastructure improvements has been driving employment in New Jersey, particularly among civil engineers. While total wages for the transportation, logistics, and distribution cluster accounted for 7% of private sector wages statewide, it contributed more than $62.5 billion to New Jersey’s GDP in 2020. That made it the sixth-highest dollar amount contributed per state nationwide.

Article courtesy of Investopedia.