“This is a very significant economic storm that we have entered into”

From the Asbury Park Press:

N.J. job growth low, report says

New Jersey’s private-sector job growth ranked 41st nationwide each of the past two years in a sign that its high costs drove employers away, Rutgers University economists said in a report released Monday.

And the state faces bleak prospects: New Jersey has a high concentration of jobs in the financial services sector, which is getting hit hard in the economic downturn, they said.

“I’ve seen a lot of cyclical times with real estate, but I’ve never seen it this bad,” said Arnie Lubliner, general manager of Winstar Mortgage Co. in Manasquan, where business in 2007 was off 63 percent from the previous year.

The report by Rutgers economists James W. Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca comes as bad news to business owners and workers, who had hoped the worst of the economic downturn was behind them.

It argues New Jersey’s economy has several obstacles. The state’s job growth is slower even than its high-cost neighbors, and it sits at the epicenter of the financial services industry.

“This is a very significant economic storm that we have entered into,” Hughes said.

The report found New Jersey’s private sector grew by 0.8 percent in 2006 and 0.1 percent in 2007. By comparison, New York’s private sector grew by 1.5 percent in 2006 and 1.2 percent in 2007, and Pennsylvania’s private sector grew by 1.2 percent in 2006 and 0.6 percent in 2007.

That puts New Jersey in the company of states that have been considered economic trouble spots: California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona have also felt the most pain from the housing bubble’s collapse.

“New Jersey has become a place where it is very, very expensive to operate — even within the region,” said Philip Kirschner, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the state’s biggest business lobby. A quick recovery isn’t likely, the economists said. New Jersey and the rest of the nation are caught in a downturn stemming from a slow housing market. That has forced lenders to tighten their credit standards.

New Jersey is likely to suffer more than others. Financial activities — banking, brokerages, real estate and finance — account for 6.9 percent of the state’s employment, compared with 6.1 percent of U.S. employment, Hughes said.

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4 Responses to “This is a very significant economic storm that we have entered into”

  1. grim says:

    From the Record:

    N.J. lagged in tri-state job boom

    New Jersey trailed its neighboring states in job growth in 2007, as the New York region enjoyed a relative employment boom compared with the rest of the nation, a report released today says.

    Titled “Reversal of Economic Fortune,” the report by Rutgers University economists James W. Hughes and Joseph J. Seneca shows the private-sector employment market in certain Northeastern states was generally stronger in 2007 than certain states that had enjoyed strong job growth the year before — such as California, Arizona and Florida.

    It concluded that the Middle Atlantic states — New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — “overcame four decades of sub-par performance in 2007 by beating the national growth rate for new jobs created,” the report says.

    The two economists found that the three states added 117,500 private-sector jobs in 2007, a growth rate of 0.8 percent. National private-sector employment grew by 0.7 percent. Formerly high-flying states such as Florida and Arizona were hurt by the housing meltdown, the report said.

    Yet the economists found that the growth in the Middle Atlantic states in 2007 was largely driven by New York, which added 85,700 jobs and Pennsylvania, which added 28,100 jobs. New Jersey’s employment increased by just 3,700 jobs last year.

    The state’s 0.1 percent employment growth rate in 2007 fell far short of the 1.2 percent increase in New York and the 0.6 percent gain in Pennsylvania. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland all had stronger job growth rates than New Jersey last year, the report found.

    Philip Kirschner, president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said he was happy about the relative strength of the Middle Atlantic job market, but disappointed at New Jersey’s performance.

    “It is what we have been trying to tell the powers that be in Trenton for a long time — that New Jersey used to be a regional leader and is now a regional laggard,” he said.

  2. jack says:

    well lets raise gambling sites, lets raise taxes. lets have family leave, that will attract business.

    lets rasie the tolls on the tpk, and pkw,
    lets put tolls on 78/80

    lets put more folks on the state payroll

  3. crossroads says:

    are you running for office?

  4. Mitchell says:

    Thats what they are doing now.

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