Another migration study, another last-place finish for New Jersey. This time it’s a 2022 study by Hire A Helper that used data from moves, company surveys and the US Census Bureau. For 2021, New Jersey came in dead-last – 50th out of 50 states – with a whopping 54% more people leaving the state than coming in. New Jersey’s serious outmigration problem casts a dark shadow over the future of the state: it’s very hard for a state’s economy to thrive if people are leaving, and given its enormous debts and very expensive government, New Jersey needs a thriving economy.
And the situation is actually getting worse. For 2019, New Jersey saw 15.9% more people leave the state than come in, which was 44th among the states. For 2020, 48.9% more people left, which was 48th. The bottom line is that before, during and after New Jersey’s extensive pandemic lockdowns, more people were leaving than coming in. In other words, under Governor Murphy, things are getting worse, not better.
The Hire A Helper study is just one in a long line of studies (see here and here) which show that New Jersey is losing people, businesses and wealth to other states. Sunlight has noted that New Jersey has had the single worst tax climate in the nation for businesses for every year of Murphy’s tenure, and yet Murphy saw fit to raise corporate taxes. Sunlight wrote a lengthy report for Garden State Initiative about how poor a state New Jersey is for retirees and how wealthy retirees are fleeing, yet Murphy saw fit to raise income taxes on the wealthy.
All of this bodes ill for New Jersey’s future economy and yet Murphy has done very little to address this major problem. Why? Because his eyes are apparently set on a White House run and he will be long gone when New Jersey has to deal with the negative consequences of outmigration. New Jersey has served its purpose as a springboard for Murphy’s political ambitions and he is ready to move on to bigger and better things (for him).