From the Home News Tribune:
Job losses will continue to mire the economy in coming months and the recession may stretch into 2010, according to a report released by two Rutgers University economists.
The quarterly Sitar-Rutgers Regional Report says 1.9 million jobs were lost across the country in the last four months of 2008, the worst year for private-sector job losses since the United States began compiling such statistics in 1939.
“This reflects a serious economic meltdown,” Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy Dean James Hughes and Rutgers University Professor Joseph Seneca wrote. “And it appears that the worst is yet to come.”
“Consider (2002) the start of American’s great consumption bubble,” the report says. “We went on the greatest spending spree in the history of the planet. But that level of consumption is not sustainable. It was achieved only by spending every dollar of the paycheck, by depleting home equity, and overdosing on credit.”
When the economy turns around, Hughes and Seneca expect the consumption rate to decline and the savings rate to rise.
But in New Jersey and across the United States, a shrinking job market through 2008 suggests that for the next year, at least, households will continue struggling to pay the bills — much less save money.
New Jersey lost 63,000 jobs between December 2007 and December 2008, according to preliminary employment numbers from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. That’s the most significant decline in New Jersey since 1991, when 80,800 jobs were lost.