Thanks to the Garden State Initiative (GSI) for keeping an eye on NJ’s employment numbers. Altogether, NJ’s January jobs numbers were not good:
- NJ’s unemployment rate was 7.6%, almost a full percentage point higher than the national average of 6.7%.
- Even worse, NJ’s unemployment rate stands at 7.6% only because 93,000 New Jersey’s dropped out of the state’s labor force (the headline number only counts as unemployed those who have looked for a job in the last month). Even though they are not counted in the unemployment number, these workers present more of a challenge because they have been out of work longer.
- All told, NJ’s labor force is 350,000 smaller than the peak prior to the pandemic. That’s a lot of people sidelined by the pandemic’s effect on the economy.
NJ already has the worst tax climate for businesses of any state in the nation – for the seventh straight year – yet Gov. Murphy saw fit to raise taxes on the wealthy and on businesses in the middle of the pandemic. These are of course the main drivers of job creation in the state. No wonder a large employer like Mondelez has announced they are leaving NJ.
Murphy is using these tax revenues as well as $4.5 billion in borrowing to increase NJ’s government spending while the NJ private sector is struggling under the weight of the pandemic and the heavy hand of state taxation. Good for Murphy’s government union pals but not so good for the rest of NJ.