Will the last one out turn off the lights?

From the Philly Inquirer:

Population trend is state’s loss

New Jersey’s economy is slow-growing, but it continues to generate extraordinarily high incomes. In 2005, New Jersey had the highest median household income among the 50 states.

If New Jersey were a country, it would be the wealthiest on earth, followed by Luxembourg.

Unfortunately, this rosy picture has a blemish: We also rank No. 1 in median housing costs.

While our median income is 27 percent higher than the national median, our housing costs are 52 percent higher. So much of our income advantage is needed to cover our higher housing costs, and we really aren’t as well off as the income statistics suggest.

Unaffordable housing and other high costs of living are driving people out of the state in alarming numbers.

Our population is growing slowly – and we are facing potential population losses – because of what the Census Bureau calls “net internal out-migration.”

Simply put, more people are moving from New Jersey to other parts of the country than are moving into the state from the rest of the country. And the exodus is accelerating.

In 2002, 23,704 more people moved from New Jersey to other states than moved into it from other states. The loss grew to 33,225 in 2003, 45,045 in 2004, 56,989 in 2005, and 72,547 last year. At this rate, the state will have a net internal-migration loss of more than 100,000 people by 2009.

The factors contributing to this, in addition to housing affordability, are high taxes of all types, the loss of high-paying science and technology jobs, and weak overall job growth – even as competitor states, such as North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, offer more economic opportunities.

Population losses, in turn, impact labor supply. Jobs cannot be created without skilled people to fill them and affordable homes for people to live in.

There are no easy prescriptions for these demographic trends.

Crafting simultaneous and interrelated policies to address housing affordability, protect our high quality of life and the environment, and improve the cost-competitiveness of our economy are key to making tomorrow’s New Jersey attractive enough for people to stay here and for our business community to invest here.

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11 Responses to Will the last one out turn off the lights?

  1. sas says:

    I can’t wait for the opening bell.

    keep this in mind today:

    someone is on the banker’s treadmill.


  2. still_looking says:


    are mortgage brokers that frightening?? Can your mortgage broker really do this???


  3. R Patrick says:

    How much are houses in Luxemborg

  4. Richard says:

    income tends to move proportionally to some asset classes. that’s why a house in kentucky is far cheaper than here.

  5. Rich In NNJ says:


    So none of us need worry, house prices won’t drop as we’ll eventually make more money because we live in New Jersey.


  6. RentinginNJ says:

    While our median income is 27 percent higher than the national median, our housing costs are 52 percent higher.

    As bleak as this statistic appears, I think the real situation is even worse. Much of the driver behind our high median income in NJ is our heavy union presence and most notably the strength of NJ’s public sector unions.

    Teachers and police officers in NJ make significantly more that than those jobs in other places. How many police officers (patrolmen) outside of NJ can claim they make 6 digits? To a lesser extent, other unionized jobs like painters, plumbers and electricians also do much better in NJ.

    For professional services jobs, the difference is not as great. I would probably be looking at a 10% pay cut if I moved. So, for me at least, housing costs 52% more but I only make 10% more than the national average.

  7. RentinginNJ says:

    income tends to move proportionally to some asset classes. that’s why a house in kentucky is far cheaper than here.

    But not across all jobs.
    Due to the strength of the unions, public sector job incomes in NJ do tend to move with the cost of living, of which housing prices are a big factor. This, of course, leads to higher taxes.

    Private sector job incomes not subject to competition from outside of NJ can, to a lesser extent, also move with the cost of living. For example, a day care center can pass on higher property taxes because you can’t reasonably get this service from out of state

    Private sector jobs subject to external competition can’t increase incomes to match NJ’s cost of living and still stay in business. This is why NJ is losing these jobs and workers in these jobs are the ones leaving the state. The problem is that this class of jobs are typically the economic engine of a state.

  8. John A says:

    As one (well, four) of the 72,547 who left last year, I can say with some confidence that the grass is greener elsewhere. Picked up a new house on a large plot for half of what I would have paid where I was (South Orange), and only lost 15% in salary. I’m sure Madison, WI will have the same problems NJ does in 30 years, but there isn’t a single area of my life that hasn’t improved since leaving NJ. Except that I miss good bagels, but I’ll deal. :)

  9. Otis Wildflower says:


    Just get the next-day or 2nd-day air option..

  10. Tick says:

    Will the last one out turn off the lights?

    LOL. My buddy from Lucent who was moved to Chicago and Myself who moved to North Carolina used to laugh with all our buddies and say that exact phrase.

    As yes I too miss good bagels.

  11. Al says:

    CAn I reserve a spot outside of NJ –

    Let’s imagine for a second that NJ introduces Leaving NJ Fee of 20,000$ – since you were using NJ schols, roads, hospitals and such – and now you are leaving…….

    72,000X20,000 = 1.4 billions/year… And no need to sell the lottery…

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