Friday Facts and Figures: September 20, 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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$105,192

New Jersey’s corporate tax subsidies are a national outlier — both in their cost and how little the state receives as a return on its investment. According to a new NJPP report, the passage of the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013 enabled an unprecedented spike in spending on corporate tax breaks. In 2015, the cost of subsidies peaked at $105,192 per job created or maintained, and some of the state’s largest tax breaks cost more than half a million dollars per job. At the price New Jersey is paying on subsidies, taxpayers will never break even. The report also offers ten key reforms, like hard caps on awards, to rein in spending on corporate subsidies and revamp the state’s approach to economic development. [NJPP / Sheila Reynertson]


$52.7 Million

The state Economic Development Authority (EDA) has approved the pay out of $52.7 million worth of corporate tax breaks to 31 projects for 2018. The total cost of these projects exceeds $533 million in tax breaks over ten years. These payments are newsworthy, as all corporate subsidy payments were put on hold earlier this year as the EDA reevaluated whether companies were delivering on their promised jobs and capital investments. Payments to many high profile projects, including Holtec’s headquarters in Camden, are still on hold. [NJ.com / Ted Sherman]


49,000

New Jersey’s warehouse distribution economy is booming, with over 49,000 workers in the sector. On average, these jobs do not pay well, and they often have strict production quotas and unpredictable work schedules. Nevertheless, the state has awarded over $230 million in corporate subsidies over the last five years to warehouse operators, even as they pay poverty wages and take advantage of New Jersey’s robust transportation infrastructure. Better yet, some award recipients, namely NFI and goPuff, have previously violated wage and hour laws. As outlined in this op-ed (and in NJPP’s report linked above), New Jersey must do more to ensure the state no longer subsidizes low-paying jobs or companies with a poor record on workers’ rights. [NJ.com / Alberto Arroyo and Brandon Castro]


3.2 Percent

New Jersey’s unemployment rate is down to 3.2 percent, a record low since state-level data became available in 1976. The state added 1,100 new non-farm jobs in August, while the public sector added 2,300 new jobs, mostly at the local level. This indicates a strong labor market, which is good news for workers as it increases their bargaining power relative to that of employers. [ROI NJ / Emily Bader]


43rd

New Jersey has the 8th best overall health of women, infants, and children, according to America’s Health Rankings. However, the state ranks 43rd in the nation in adequate health insurance for children. That is a shocking statistic for New Jersey, which is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. The report did not provide specifics on why the state ranks so poorly, but we know that New Jersey FamilyCare has the second highest premiums in the nation for moderate income children not eligible for Medicaid. NJPP has been advocating for major changes in the program to provide more coverage and quality insurance for kids. A more systemic review of insurance in the private sector is also needed to address this major deficit. [America’s Health Rankings / United Health Foundation]


Thank you!

As I’m sure you know from the many emails we’ve sent, yesterday was NJPP’s Celebration of Progress 2019. On behalf of NJPP, thank you all for making last night’s event a big success and for your work making New Jersey a stronger and more equitable state! New Jersey wouldn’t be the progressive laboratory it is today without your continued support. Big shout outs to last night’s honorees: Reverend Dr. Charles Boyer, Milly Silva, Bill Caruso, and Senator Loretta Weinberg. We’ll have pictures from the event up on the website soon, so be on the lookout! [No link, just a thank you!]


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