New Jersey's jobless could have some hope if the top Democrat in the Upper House has his way.

NJSendems.com

Senate President Steve Sweeney's bill to give tax breaks to Garden State companies that hire and retain anyone who has been unemployed for at least one month has been approved by the State Budget Labor Committee. It's already passed the Labor committee and could be voted on in the full Senate this month.

Sweeney says, "It's actually very simplistic. If you hire someone off the unemployment rolls that has been unemployed for a month and you keep him employed for a year you don't pay taxes on him and you can take advantage of that program for four years for the same employee."

In his State of the State Address last month, Christie explained that recovery from super-storm Sandy would spur job growth and he pointed out, "In total, we have added 75,000 private sector jobs in New Jersey since we took office in January 2010." After a banner jobs month in December, Christie now says he's created over 100,000 private sector jobs.

Under Sweeney's bill, also known as the 'New Jobs for New Jersey Tax Credit Program,' any business that employs 100 or fewer full-time people would become eligible for a tax credit against either their corporate businesses or gross income tax, whichever applies to them, for each unemployed person they newly hire. This applies to anyone who has been unemployed for more than 30 days.

Sweeney explains, "The point is; if you have someone working and they're paying taxes then they're not utilizing government services so we save so we're not losing anything……You have a lot of businesses that might be just right on the fringe that need a little push to hire that extra employee and that's what we're trying to do with the bill."

"Tax breaks won't lower unemployment if the people businesses are hiring to get a tax break already have jobs," says bill co-sponsor, Senator Bob Gordon. "Unemployment won't go down unless businesses hire one of the many tremendously talented candidates who are currently unemployed. The jobless won't have optimism if they keep getting passed over time and again. This is truly about putting people back on the radar so they can get back into jobs and get a paycheck."

Sweeney explains, "It is important to note that 'unemployed' element of the bill. We want people moving off the unemployment rolls and we want to stimulate hiring among small businesses."