A recent Wall Street Journal editorial painted an unflattering picture of New Jersey’s economic recovery. The WSJ notes that:
“unemployment continues to run far higher in states run by Democrats. Unemployment nationwide fell to 5.4% in July, but it was above 7% in Nevada (7.7%), California (7.6%), New Mexico (7.6%), New York (7.6%), Connecticut (7.3%), New Jersey (7.3%) and Illinois (7.1%). All have Democratic governors.”
Remember that Gov. Murphy chose to extend federal unemployment benefits into September while 25 (mostly Republican) states ended them in June and July. The jobless rate averaged 4.4% in those 25 states versus New Jersey’s 7.3%. New Jersey businesses are trying to come back after pandemic lockdowns and are struggling to fill job openings, and Murphy’s policies are making that problem worse.
Now news reports say Murphy is planning to stick New Jersey businesses with the $250 million tab for the state’s underfunded unemployment system. Murphy could use some of the $6.4 billion in federal assistance to relieve the struggling business community of this burden, but that doesn’t appear to be a priority.
In contrast, taking care of his public union pals is a Murphy priority. Remember that at the urging of his public union pals, Murphy is dumping $6.9 billion (15% of the entire state budget) into an unreformed and still-in-crisis public pension system.
So it’s billions for Murphy’s public union supporters but nothing for struggling New Jersey businesses who need to fill job openings and cannot afford higher unemployment taxes.