Friday Facts and Figures: September 13, 2019

Friday Facts and Figures is a brief digital newsletter focusing on data points from NJPP reports, research, and policy debates in New Jersey and beyond.
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2 Percent

Who exactly benefits from New Jersey’s corporate subsidies? Not the residents of Camden, according to a new analysis by the state Economic Development Authority (EDA). Data from 25 EDA-subsidized projects in Camden County — representing about half of Camden projects since 2013 — show that only 26 percent of construction jobs went to county residents, and a mere 2 percent of those jobs went to residents of Camden city. Due to lax reporting requirements, data regarding permanent jobs is not yet available. Tim Sullivan, CEO of the EDA, requested companies voluntarily provide that info to the state by the end of the month. Needless to say, New Jersey’s corporate subsidies need a serious overhaul, including stronger reporting criteria and community benefit agreements that prioritize local employment. [The Philadelphia Inquirer / Catherine Dunn]


17.3 Percent

New Jersey has one of the best education systems in the nation, in no small part due to a well-trained and highly qualified teacher workforce. The state’s teachers, however, make substantially less than similarly educated workers, even when accounting for pensions and health benefits. According to a new NJPP report, teachers with a bachelor’s degree make, on average, 14.5 percent less than similarly educated non-teachers. The gap is greater for teachers with a master’s degree: 17.3 percent. When teacher compensation lags this much behind other professions, recruiting the best possible teacher candidates is a real challenge. [NJPP / Mark Weber]


$65,000

This Sunday is the deadline to apply for tuition-free community college under the recently expanded Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program. For students with a gross adjusted income under $65,000, the CCOG closes the gap between tuition (including fees) and all other state and federal financial aid. The program helps level the playing field for higher education so all students — regardless of their income or immigration status — have a fair shot at a college degree. Click through for a brief explainer on the program and information on how to apply (spoiler: it’s pretty simple). [NJPP / Erika Nava]


3 Percent

A new report by the Urban Institute helps clarify the major positive effect of a $15 minimum wage in New Jersey. Notably, the report found that 1.4 million New Jerseyans, including 375,000 children, will benefit from the increase when it is fully phased in. The report also shows that less than 3 percent of workers who will benefit from the wage increase may no longer qualify for Medicaid; instead, these workers will qualify for health coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchange, with many receiving financial assistance to help cover the additional cost. Through the creation of a state exchange and other efforts to expand health coverage, New Jersey is well-equipped to close this potential coverage gap. [NJ Spotlight / Lilo Stainton]


1.9 Million

The number of uninsured Americans has grown by 1.9 million — including 425,000 children — according to new data by the US Census. This increase is the first since 2008, and represents a stark reversal after years of progress under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). New Jersey bucked this national trend, as the number of uninsured decreased by 33,000, but this number could have been much greater without the Trump administration’s ACA sabotage. Across the state, Medicaid enrollment decreased by 44,000, which is likely a result of federal anti-immigrant policies, namely the “public charge” rule. Marketplace enrollees also decreased by 16,000, which is likely a result of a shorter enrollment window and a drastic cut in outreach funding. [NJ.com / Editorial Board]


ICYMI

NJPP’s senior staff is growing! Following a months-long national search, NJPP has hired Nicole Rodriguez as our new Research Director. Nicole previously worked as a Senior Researcher with Community Labor United, and as Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. NJPP also promoted Becca Jensen Compton to Development Director. Congrats to Nicole and Becca! [NJPP]


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