What are New Jersey’s Major Industries?

Although New Jersey is the 4th smallest state in the country, it is also the most densely populated. Our communities are richly diverse and nearly one-third of all NJ business owners immigrated here from other parts of the world. Our commitment to foreign direct investment, R&D collaboration, and workforce development supports growth in key industry sectors, from life sciences and technology to financial services. Companies in these industries have found an ideal location, with the ability to reach 33% of the nation’s population within a day’s drive. Here’s a brief look at some of New Jersey’s major industries driving the economy and some of those already here thriving.

1. Life Sciences Industry

Life sciences continues to grow in the State of New Jersey, which is home to 13 of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies. A number of industry leaders have been successful here, including Eli Lilly, Novartis, and others. We also have the largest concentration of scientists and engineers per square mile in the U.S. and an ever-growing pool of STEM talent. Employment in the life sciences industry comprises three main components: pharmaceuticals (42.6%), biotechnology (40.7%), and medical device manufacturing (16.7%). We have an extensive network of support which includes world-class research institutions, medical schools, and some of the best hospitals in the country.

2. Technology Industry

New Jersey is a hub of innovation, pioneering the next wave of tech disruption. The major technology subsectors in NJ are AI, big data, telecom, cybersecurity, and fintech. We are the #1 state for broadband connectivity and #2 for fastest download speeds. Today, some of the top technology companies in New Jersey include Audible, Cognizant, IGATE, and Verisk Analytics. Employment in the technology sector is primarily found within professional, scientific, and technical services (76.8%) and information (23.2%). With proximity to NYC and Philadelphia, top talent, and access to VC funding and university partnerships, NJ is uniquely positioned to help your technology firm grow and thrive.

3. Clean Energy Industry

New Jersey is facing climate change head-on with an aggressive renewable portfolio standard (RPS) mandating 50% clean energy by 2030 and 100% clean energy by 2050. The two dominant clean energy sub-sectors in New Jersey are solar and wind. In June of 2019, NJ announced the development of a 1,100 MW wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City – the largest offshore wind procurement ever by a U.S. state. In addition, we have installed enough solar energy to power over a quarter of a million homes and are ranked among the top 10 states for installed solar capacity and solar jobs.

4. Film & Media Industry

Before Hollywood was established in the 1890s, Fort Lee, NJ was the film capital of the world. Today, it is home to the largest concentration of film professionals outside of California. Our diverse landscapes and settings lend a historical context, style, and mood to any production from the television series The Sopranos to the Academy Award-winning Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix. New Jersey’s robust film tax credit is equal to 30% of qualified film production expenses in Northern NJ, allowing filmmakers to produce high-quality work while staying within budget.

5. Advanced Manufacturing Industry

Often credited with being the birthplace of the U.S. industrial revolution, New Jersey boasts over 2,500 advanced manufacturers – from large pharmaceutical companies to small machine shops. In 2018 alone, the manufacturing sector accounted for nearly $47.4 billion of state gross domestic product (GDP). As the industry continues to grow, companies like Suuchi Inc., based in Kearny, NJ, represent a new era of “Made in America” products. New Jersey ranks the #5 state for chemical manufacturing, and our state offers a number of attractive incentives and workforce development programs to qualified manufacturers.

6. Logistics Industry

New Jersey’s logistics industry is home to the second largest seaport in the nation and the busiest airport system in the country when combined with New York City and Philadelphia. Major companies with distribution centers in New Jersey include Volkswagen, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Williams-Sonoma, to name a few. The Bayonne Bridge project, along with several other projects to expand capacity into and out of the ports, ensure that our state is well prepared for future trade activity.

7. Food & Beverage Industry

Our state is home to some of the world’s leading food companies, such as Campbell Soup Company which has been headquartered in Camden, NJ since 1869. New Jersey has a long, celebrated history in the food industry, and has been called the “most edible” state in America by Saveur magazine and the “food capital of America” by Public Radio International. New Jersey boasts the third largest population of foreign-born residents in the nation, which is why many international food companies see us as a cultural match. Along with Goya, who unveiled a new headquarters and distribution facility in Jersey City in 2015, other major food and beverage companies with established operations in NJ include Bai Brands, Mars Wrigley, and Unilever.

8. Financial Services Industry

The financial services industry relies heavily on New Jersey’s specialized talent from universities like Stevens Institute of Technology. New Jersey is also a national leader in housing data centers for financial institutions like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Northern New Jersey has 2.14 million sq. ft. of data center space—one of the world’s largest concentrations. Jersey City is one of the most notable spots in NJ for financial activity – the city has become an up-and-coming location for several high-profile banking and investment firms, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and PwC. Companies in the emerging financial technology (fintech) industry are choosing Jersey City for its more affordable real estate and access to Wall Street, and 4 of the world’s top 100 fintech firms are already headquartered in NJ.

Bring Your Business to New Jersey

With proximity to major metropolitan areas and a history of invention and innovation, New Jersey provides a number of assets to both current and prospective businesses. Choose New Jersey offers a wide range of free and confidential business relocation and expansion services to lead you on the right path, and we will even help publicize your good news. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities in our state or would like to speak with a member of our team, please contact us today. 

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Bill Noonan
Business Development Director
Catherine Scangarella
Chief Business Development Officer