SPCNJ applauds Rutgers for holding a conference that focused on the outmigration of young people out of NJ – a net loss of over 200,000 young people over the past decade. This is the future of NJ walking out the door.
The Murphy administration has taken steps to mitigate the cost of college but it has done very little to address the underlying causes of outmigration. As detailed in the SPCNJ report “Beware the Downward Spiral: The Economic Consequences of New Jersey’s Special-Interest-Dominated Status Quo,” NJ is a very high-cost state, with very high taxes and a huge overhang of unfunded pension liabilities. As a result, NJ’s economy has lagged the rest of the nation (and neighbors NY and PA) in terms of personal income, state GDP and jobs growth.
This all makes NJ unattractive to businesses both large and small. Speakers at the Rutgers conference highlighted NJ’s need for entrepreneurs to start up new companies that then grow exponentially, which also happen to be the kinds of companies that appeal to young people. But the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranked NJ 49th among the states for its tax system for small businesses – for the third straight year. Overall, the Tax Foundation ranked NJ dead last among the states for its business tax climate – for the fifth straight year. Yet Governor Murphy and his public-sector union allies want to raise taxes even more.
The bottom line is that NJ has a lousy business climate, an underperforming economy and a very high cost of living. No wonder young people are leaving NJ.