Note: The job recovery data for NY & PA is through May, as those states have not yet released their June jobs numbers.
June’s employment report offers some welcomed good news for a change, but one month of positive data does not a strong recovery make. The Garden State has now recovered just 45 percent of the jobs it lost in the recession, far fewer than the nation as a whole – which has recovered 105 percent – and our neighbors in New York (183 percent) and Pennsylvania (93 percent). The past year in particular has seen what was already a slow, sideways recovery turn into an almost lack of any job growth whatsoever. In the past year, New Jersey has only added 7,200 jobs yet 52,100 residents have left the labor force; this is not an indication of a strong economy.
While New Jersey’s economic woes can’t be fully explained by one simple factor, our laggard recovery does clearly show that the strategy employed by policymakers – to cut taxes for businesses and award over $4 billion in corporate tax breaks and hope that the prosperity and jobs trickle down – is not working. It’s time for our leaders to take a different approach, one that recognizes New Jersey’s competitive advantages – like our location, our transportation networks and our excellent public education system – and builds on them instead of ignoring them.
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