From the Morris Daily Record:
New Jersey must become more business-friendly and create more jobs, especially in its northern region, to avoid losing out to more affordable states and to global competition.
That was the theme presented by state officials at the North Jersey Economic Growth forum at the Madison Hotel in Convent Station on Thursday.
Joan Verplanck, president of the N.J. Chamber of Commerce, said the state has suffered economically the past 10 years due to technology advances, global competition, especially with China and India, the economic downturn in the financial markets since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and existing state budget woes.
She said one thing about New Jersey will never change: “It will always be a high-cost state.”
In the past five years, New Jersey has lost some 23,000 jobs in such fields as pharmaceuticals, finance, science and information technology.
Gary Rose, chief of the state Office of Economic Development, said the state needs a more proactive attitude to attract and keep businesses.
“We, as a state, have to be smarter, more focused and more coordinated,” he said.