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New Jersey’s Comeback Lags Behind Nation [AUDIO]

New Jersey is on its way out of the recession, but its comeback is going at a slower pace than the rest of the nation.

Flickr User Tony Fischer Photography

“We believe New Jersey’s comeback will be modest due to a number of ongoing problems in the United States and in the global economies,” said Nancy Mantell, Director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service. “Rising oil prices, the federal budget deficit, very tight state and local budgets and wavering consumer confidence all can hinder a robust turnaround.”

Mantell believes there will be growth over the next decade in all sectors of the state economy, except in manufacturing and information. “The rest of the nation has seen growth in the manufacturing sector particularly in the auto and transportation equipment industries and New Jersey simply doesn’t have that industry any more,” said Mantell. “After the middle of the decade, the employment base in manufacturing will essentially stabilize at about 236,000 jobs with the largest manufacturing employer continuing to be the chemicals industry.”

“New Jersey’s public sector had contributed most of the growth during the pre-recession period. Since May 2010, the state lost a huge number of public sector jobs. Since then, there has been no growth in the public sector,” said Mantell. “That is what’s making the state’s numbers look so weak against neighboring states and the rest of the nation.”

Between 2010 and 2022, output in New Jersey will expand at an average rate of 1.8 percent per year compared to the average rate of 2.5 percent expected nationwide. The differential is due to the relatively higher costs of living and doing business in New Jersey, as well as the state’s lower rate of population growth.

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