October Jobs Numbers: The Slog Continues

New Jersey still has not recovered all the jobs it lost in the Great Recession.

Published on Nov 21, 2016 in Economic Justice

jobs stockNew Jersey employers cut 5,600 jobs in October, just the latest poor monthly showing in a post-recession recovery that has never fully materialized.

New Jersey still has not recovered all the jobs it lost in the Great Recession (it has 2,000 fewer jobs than it did in December 2007, when the recession began), and its economy remains incredibly fragile, despite $3 billion in tax cuts for businesses and $7.5 billion in corporate tax breaks.

  • New Jersey has now recovered 99 percent of the jobs it lost since December 2007, when the recession began. The U.S. has now recovered 176 percent.
  • The Garden State has the 8th slowest job growth (essentially flat) of all the states since December 2007. The nation as a whole has grown jobs by 4.8 percent during that same time, while the Northeast region has posted growth of 3.7 percent.
  • New Jersey now has 2,000 fewer jobs than when the recession began. Not only has New Jersey not gotten back to square one, but it has failed to keep up with jobs for a growing population. In fact, for New Jersey to keep up with its population growth it should have 271,300 more jobs in October 2016 than in December 2007.
  • This means the state still has a jobs deficit of 273,300, and would need to add about 119,000 jobs each year for the next 3 years just to get back to pre-recession employment levels that also keep ups with continued population growth by October 2019. Instead, the state has gained only about a quarter of that many jobs over the past year, (nonfarm employment grew by just 30,200 from October 2015 to October 2016).
  • Many of the jobs that have been growing in New Jersey have been lower-paid jobs. The two employment sectors that have seen the largest increase since December 2007 are the ones where New Jerseyans earn the least: education and health jobs (including many low-paid jobs like home health aides), which have grown by 15.5 percent, and leisure and hospitality jobs (including retail and food service), which have grown by 4.8 percent. Only one other New Jersey sector has grown since December 2007: professional and business services (6.3 percent). Highly paid sectors like financial services (-6.4 percent) have been declining, as have sectors that formerly made up the strong working and middle class: construction (down 10.2 percent); manufacturing (down 20.2 percent) and public-sector state and local government jobs (down 4.8 percent).