Easy Politics of Tax Breaks & Tax Cuts is Failing New Jersey’s Economy

New Jersey just released its July jobs numbers, and they aren’t pretty, despite the heavy spin. The state lost 13,600 jobs in July, and June’s numbers were revised to a loss of 12,500 jobs. But regardless of the ups and downs, New Jersey’s economic recovery remains far behind most other states despite nearly $9 billion worth of trickle-down tax cuts and breaks since the recession’s start. That’s the bottom line.

Since the recession began in December 2007, New Jersey has approved a whopping $6.4 billion in corporate tax subsidies and cut business taxes by $2.3 billion in an effort to grow the economy. The July jobs numbers are the latest in a long line of metrics that clearly show that the easy politics of tax breaks and tax cuts is failing New Jersey, and that it’s time for a new approach.

New Jersey has now recovered just 61 percent of the jobs its lost since the recession’s official start, a far lower share than the nation as a whole (143 percent) and our neighbors in New York (263 percent) and Pennsylvania (113 percent).

At this point, New Jersey would need to add more than 10,000 jobs each month for the next three years to return to pre-recession employment levels and keep up with the state’s growing population. Compare that to 1,000 per month in New York and 6,000 per month in Pennsylvania – both much larger states than New Jersey – and it’s clear policymakers have a lot of work to do.

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