New Jersey, its jobless rate at a 32-year high, won’t exceed its pre-recession employment for a decade, Rutgers University economists predict.
The state will begin recovering in 2011, yet will require until 2019 to surpass by 118,000 jobs the 2007 employment peak, said Rutgers economist Nancy Mantell, director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, said.
“The country, in contrast, will begin job expansion three years earlier, at the beginning of 2013,” Mantell said in a statement yesterday. “By 2019, it will have 7.7 percent more jobs than at the previous peak.”
New Jersey, the most densely populated U.S. state, entered the recession in January 2008, one month after the nation as a whole, and has lost 161,300 jobs, or 4 percent, of its employment base, Mantell said.
During the first year of the economic crisis, the state shed jobs at a rate comparable to the national figure. In 2009, the pace slowed to 1.8 percent, compared with 2.9 percent nationally.
The New Jersey jobless rate was 9.8 percent in September, up from 4.5 in December 2007, according to state Department of Labor and Workforce Development figures. The national rate is also 9.8 percent. New Jersey currently has 3.9 million non-farm jobs, according to state figures. In December 2007 it had a record-high 4.1 million, the state labor department reported.
The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Services projects the state will confront a deficit of as much as $8 billion next year as rising unemployment and damped consumer spending depress tax receipts. The revenue gap is more than 25 percent of the $29 billion budget enacted in June by Governor Jon Corzine.
Tax and fee collections for the quarter ended Sept. 30 fell $190 million, or 3.1 percent, below estimates, Treasurer David Rousseau said. Corzine ordered $200 million in cuts and directed his cabinet members to identify another $200 million in reductions.