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Financial Insecurity Plagues NJ [AUDIO]

Two-fifths of New Jersey households are one crisis away from going over the financial cliff, according to a national report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

The financial insecurity report found 40.2 percent of Garden State families have an inadequate amount of savings to cover basic expenses for three months in the event of an emergency such as a sudden illness or job loss.

piggy bank
Flickr User 401(k) 2012

“New Jerseyans are still suffering the ravages of the recession,” said Gordon MacInnes, president of New Jersey Policy Perspective. “Although the picture is slowly improving, New Jersey is near the bottom when it comes to foreclosures and underwater mortgages, long-term unemployed, and joblessness.”

New Jersey’s “insecurity score” was 44.6 percent last year.

The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard ranked each state and the District of Columbia on their ability of residents to achieve financial security, as well as policies in place to help them get there. New Jersey ranked 29th for ability, and third for policy.

“The problem, I think, is that this is a high-cost state,” MacInnes said. “This is a great location, there’s lots to do, and when that happens, you get higher costs of living.”

The CFED report suggested New Jersey fully restore the state Earned Income Tax Credit, expand paid sick days to all workers, and extend high-quality preschool to more of New Jersey’s poor children.

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