2015 Economic Snapshot

From the Record:

2015 was the year of the long good-bye, but jobs rebounded

New Jersey’s job market swung from optimism to despair and back in 2015, ending the year on a high note, with the largest annual employment increase in 15 years.

Yet the encouraging performance will have to show continued strength if it is going to dispel the notion that the state’s economy lags the national expansion.

New Jersey added 37,800 jobs in the first five months of the year, only to lose 60 percent of them in June and July. Since then, state employment has grown by about 12,000 jobs a month, bringing the figure to 55,000 through November, the most since the 78,400 jobs created in 2000.

The state’s employment increase, by 1.38 percent, is smaller than the national employment increase of 1.64 percent so far this year. New Jersey’s jobless rate of 5.3 percent remains above the national level of 5 percent. And the state has recovered only about 78 percent of the jobs lost in the recession; the U.S. regained them more than a year ago.

Construction provided the state’s largest proportional employment increase, adding 9,800 jobs for a 7 percent increase in 2015 that reflected the strength in the housing market. The next biggest gains were in education and health services — a reliable growth sector that saw employment rise 2.4 percent — and leisure and hospitality, which expanded by 2.2 percent, shrugging off the weakness of 2014 from the casino meltdown in Atlantic City.

The most striking improvement was in the manufacturing sector, long a declining area, which increased by 1.57 percent, or 3,800 jobs, this year, prompting economists to wonder whether the drop had bottomed out.

That did little to diminish concern at the weakness in the professional and business services group, home to many of the state’s high-paying occupations. The sector shed 900 jobs in 2015.

North Jersey’s housing market continued to recover in 2015 from a deep downturn, with multifamily construction and the number of home sales up significantly.

But the pain is not over. Price increases were muted, and the state led the nation in foreclosures.

Home construction in the state has rebounded strongly from the depths of the housing crash, when only about 13,000 housing units were started each year from 2009 to 2011 — the lowest numbers since World War II. In 2015, the state’s builders are on track to start more than 30,000 units — the highest number since 2006, and close to the longtime averages in the 37,000 range.

The growth this year was entirely in multifamily construction, especially along the Hudson River waterfront in Hudson and Bergen counties. Single-family building permits were actually down by 8.2 percent through November, reflecting the high price of land and the fact many households are renting, either by choice or because they can’t qualify for a mortgage.

Still, the number of single-family home sales through November was up 11 percent in Bergen and 14 percent in Passaic County over the same period last year, according to the New Jersey Realtors. Despite the increased demand for homes, prices didn’t budge much, up 2.2 percent in Bergen and 3.5 percent in Passaic.

During the year, New Jersey led the nation in foreclosure activity. Lenders continued to clear up a backlog of distressed properties that built up after the mortgage industry was forced to slow down foreclosures after being accused of abusing the rights of homeowners in trouble.

This entry was posted in Economics, Employment, Housing Recovery, New Jersey Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to 2015 Economic Snapshot

  1. grim says:

    Mornin’ Punkin’ flatin’ Report:

    Minimum Wage Going Up In 14 States At Start Of 2016

    Alaska: $8.75 to $9.75
    Arkansas: $7.50 to $8.00
    California: $9.00 to $10.00
    Colorado: $8.23 to $8.31
    Connecticut: $9.15 to $9.60
    Hawaii: $7.75 to $8.50
    Massachusetts: $9.00 to $10.00
    Michigan: $8.15 to $8.50
    Nebraska: $8.00 to $9.00
    New York: $8.75 to $9.00*
    Rhode Island: $9.00 to $9.60
    South Dakota: $8.50 to $8.55
    Vermont: $9.15 to $9.60
    West Virginia: $8.00 to $8.75*

    *New York and West Virginia will raise their minimum wages on New Year’s Eve, rather than New Year’s Day.

  2. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Well said.

    “Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic. We can do nothing of good in the way of regulating and supervising these corporations until we fix clearly in our minds that we are not attacking the corporations, but endeavoring to do away with any evil in them. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to serve the public good of OUR country. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.”
    ― Theodore Roosevelt

  3. The Great Pumpkin says:

    It’s coming, the engines are just getting started. Still have to warm up, but it’s coming. Nothing like filling up that engine with rocket fuel(cheap energy and commodity prices), while the engine is warming up.

    grim says:
    December 27, 2015 at 8:39 am
    Mornin’ Punkin’ flatin’ Report:

    Minimum Wage Going Up In 14 States At Start Of 2016

    Alaska: $8.75 to $9.75
    Arkansas: $7.50 to $8.00
    California: $9.00 to $10.00
    Colorado: $8.23 to $8.31
    Connecticut: $9.15 to $9.60
    Hawaii: $7.75 to $8.50
    Massachusetts: $9.00 to $10.00
    Michigan: $8.15 to $8.50
    Nebraska: $8.00 to $9.00
    New York: $8.75 to $9.00*
    Rhode Island: $9.00 to $9.60
    South Dakota: $8.50 to $8.55
    Vermont: $9.15 to $9.60
    West Virginia: $8.00 to $8.75*

    *New York and West Virginia will raise their minimum wages on New Year’s Eve, rather than New Year’s Day.

  4. Not the Pumpkin says:

    From previous, post.

    Essex, sure they are menial assembly jobs, not as many as before, because whatever manufacturing is brought back into the country it will be heavily robotocized.

    However, a large % of the population understands their personal limits and is tolerant and accepting of these type of jobs, as long as it allows them to live a routine, predictable, not-miserable life.

    Not everyone is Elon Musk or Steve Jobs. Plenty of people don’t mind being a gas attendant as longs they are comfortable in what they consider to be their “comfortable range”.

    A non-abusive decent jobs that allows self-respect, provides for ill health, disability and old age. These were the jobs that built the middle class definitely here in northern NJ.

    If you want to see who wants these jobs, see the crowd that supports Trump.

    Essex says:
    December 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    36. Isn’t that mostly assembly? I’m not 100 sure that most Americans want to do work like that…but if given a choice? why not…

  5. anon (the good one) says:

    extreme right wingers are butthurt to see the economy do well

    The Great Pumpkin says:
    December 27, 2015 at 9:37 am
    It’s coming, the engines are just getting started. Still have to warm up, but it’s coming. Nothing like filling up that engine with rocket fuel(cheap energy and commodity prices), while the engine is warming up.

    grim says:
    December 27, 2015 at 8:39 am
    Mornin’ Punkin’ flatin’ Report:

    Minimum Wage Going Up In 14 States At Start Of 2016

    Alaska: $8.75 to $9.75
    Arkansas: $7.50 to $8.00
    California: $9.00 to $10.00
    Colorado: $8.23 to $8.31
    Connecticut: $9.15 to $9.60
    Hawaii: $7.75 to $8.50
    Massachusetts: $9.00 to $10.00
    Michigan: $8.15 to $8.50
    Nebraska: $8.00 to $9.00
    New York: $8.75 to $9.00*
    Rhode Island: $9.00 to $9.60
    South Dakota: $8.50 to $8.55
    Vermont: $9.15 to $9.60
    West Virginia: $8.00 to $8.75*

    *New York and West Virginia will raise their minimum wages on New Year’s Eve, rather than New Year’s Day.

  6. anon (the good one) says:

    “U.S. Jobless Claims Fell Last Week

    By ERIC MORATH
    Updated Dec. 24, 2015 8:43 a.m. ET

    WASHINGTON—The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits declined last week, a sign of a healthy labor market.

    Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 in the week ended Dec. 19, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street…”

  7. Fast Eddie says:

    extreme right wingers are butthurt to see the economy do well

    Why? My investments do well when the economy does well.

  8. Splat Mofo says:

    Anon is butthurt because he takes it no Vas.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

  9. Comrade Nom Deplume, in a place anon can't afford says:

    [5] anope

    That makes no sense. If the economy does well, we extreme right wingers cash in.

    Wait, what am I saying? It’s anon, of course it makes no sense

  10. Comrade Nom Deplume, in a place anon can't afford says:

    [6].

    I feel the same way about BS Econ stories peddled to low information voters as I do about the Ferguson Effect deniers: let them have their fantasy no matter how misleading the argument or viewpoint. At some point, their deluded state is ravaged by a ruthless gang of brutal facts.

    Stupid or delusional people are a gift from God; invest accordingly and cash in on them.

  11. Raymond Reddington formerly known as Phoenix says:

    CND,
    Did you read the story in Pennsylvania about the Attorney General in the Washington Post? Pretty interesting things going on there…..

  12. Hughesrep says:

    10

    I think it is on Roger Ailes’ desk calendar.

    11

    Think progress as a source, but following the links are interesting. It’s easy if you assume Sheldon is a scumbag. He is.

    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/12/25/3735036/edward-clarkin/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

    Cue chifi calling me an anti something.

  13. Hughesrep says:

    And low information voters form a majority of the Republican Party.

  14. Hughesrep says:

    I think I’m still technically a republican. Last primary I voted in was for Bush I in Ohio. His guys bought me beer at a whistle stop in BG.

  15. nwnj3 says:

    #12

    And you must be a low information type, whatever that is if you think that story is somehow novel. The mega rich buy the whole paper, the political class just call in favors. O’blamer and Hillary’s folks edit for the NYTimes frequently.

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  17. Marilyn says:

    Please we extreme Right wingers want the economy to do well of course. We want the evil Wall Street an Corp to do well to pay out of Cap gain and Divs good thru the year not only for our own ass, but to help you extreme poverty stricken loser at Eves Shelter and donate food and toys for your cause. I mean when the economy did shitty we could not donate to Charity. So think about that one. Look at those numbers . We give more to shitty lefties than most of your kind.

  18. Marilyn says:

    On a positive note, I do see a lot of NJ housing prices really high. I mean when you got to pay 500K to get a decent house in butler w/ at least a 12k tax bill NJ is rich. Now shitty Pequannock is 600K with even maybe tax to get not a wreck, I mean these towns are not even well lets just say its not Ho Ho Kus. So it looks to me things are I guess coming up. Its great if you got a great career, and its great for me confirms I am preserving my wealth in the poverty stickin’ state. I will tick down 5 years and then re-evaluate the money and if I have a longing to be w/ the rich maybe I can find Utopia.

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