Although most of New Jersey’s early settlers were farmers, industries such as iron forging, glass blowing, and leather tanning were operating by the 18th century. Paterson, which produced cotton, silk, and heavy machinery, and Newark, which made clothing, shoes, and other items, were important U.S. manufacturing cities in the l9th century. By 1900 industry had surpassed agriculture to become the leading sector of New Jersey’s economy. In the 1990s New Jersey had a diversified economy. The importance of tourism was epitomized by Atlantic City, which in 1978 became the site of the country’s first gambling casino in modern years outside of Nevada.
Newark developed as a major center of the U.S. insurance industry, and several enterprises in the state engaged in the research and development of communications and electronic equipment. A large number of New Jersey residents commuted to jobs in the nearby New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
New Jersey had a work force of 4,251,000 people in 2008. Of those the largest share were employed in service industries, doing such things as data processing and working in restaurants. Services was also the fastest growing segment of employment, as traditional jobs in manufacturing and farming declined during the 1980s and 1990s.
Of those employed, 38 percent worked in services; 19 percent in wholesale or retail trade; 16 percent in federal, state, or local government, including those in the military; 8 percent in manufacturing; 22 percent in finance, insurance, or real estate; 22 percent in transportation or public utilities; 4 percent in construction; and 1 percent in farming (including agricultural services), forestry, or fishing. Employment in mining was insignificant. In 2007, 19 percent of New Jersey’s workers were unionized. "New Jersey" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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