The typical New Jersey household’s income dropped again last year, the fifth consecutive decline, according to new data released yesterday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
At least some of the economic woes are due to the large numbers of people out of work. The Census estimates also show the unemployment rate rose in New Jersey, but newer data released at the same time by the state Department of Labor paint an even worse picture: 9.9 percent of the labor force was unemployed last month, up from 9.8 percent in July 2012 and 9.4 percent in August 2011. That prompted calls for action from politicians and public policy experts alike.
“The increase in New Jersey’s unemployment rate to 9.9 percent comes the day after New Jersey lost out to New York City for the location of 234 high-value pharmaceutical research jobs,” NJPP president Gordon MacInnes says. “These are the kind of jobs we need to capture if we are to put the state on the path to prosperity.”
MacInnes says Roche didn’t pick Manhattan because of its low tax rates, “yet, both the governor and legislative leadership are obsessed with tax cuts as the only response to high unemployment.” What they should do instead is try to emulate Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “who obsesses with creating the infrastructure and culture to attract research, engineering, and software jobs.”
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