From the Star Ledger:
New Jersey added about 43,000 jobs in the private sector in 2017, about 18,000 less than 2016, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Monday.
But that’s not necessarily good news.
“From 2014 to 2016 we had an upward trend in the number of jobs added in the private sector each year,” said James Hughes, a faculty fellow at Rutgers University’s John H. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development.
“That trend stopped in 2017,” he said. “New Jersey is still lagging the nation.”
The U.S. added about 2.1 million private sector jobs in 2017. And New Jersey makes up about 3 percent of the nation’s job base, Hughes said.
So, in order to keep pace, New Jersey would have had to add close to 60,000 jobs in the same year, he said.
Other reasons why the state continues to lag the nation include the exodus of the millennial generation to cities like New York. Its difficult for companies to hire talent if they are based in New Jersey, Hughes said.
“We are in the bottom fifth of states in terms of the number of jobs we’ve recovered. I guess its not much of a surprise that New Jersey is still playing catch up,” said Gordon MacInnes, director of New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP), a left-leaning think tank.
“Even if we have done well in the previous two years we haven’t done enough to be complacent,” he said.