You remember this guy, right? The headstrong governor here in the land of make-believe who propagandized the happy-talk of Jersey Comeback with banners, theme music and videos and jacked-up Republican campaign rallies passed off to the taxpayers public town halls in their best interest. How’s that working for ya? Christie quietly retired the banners a couple years ago, and knew better than to utter that phrase in his Republican National Convention speech that same year. Christie’s trying to make a case for himself as viable on the national scene beyond the RGA, tougher now because of the scandals. But we’re still left with the impact of some piss-poor state economic decisions over recent years, many of them his.
Unemployment is up here, though the state is using terms like “flat” and “small dips” to describe it. New Jersey lost about 1,300 jobs in March, bringing NJ’s unemployment to 7.2%. That’s up from 7.1% this time last year, and lagging half a point behind the national rate of 6.7%.
New Jersey Policy Perspective calls New Jersey’s daily reality a “slow, sideways crawl out of the recession:”
“New Jersey has now recovered just 37 percent of the jobs it lost during the recession, compared to the 95 percent national rate of recovery. March numbers for New York and Pennsylvania are not yet available, but as of February, New York had recovered 122 percent and Pennsylvania 81 percent.”
We’re not doing so well, as Wall Street drops our credit rating into the negative category, and we continue to go in the wrong direction in our bond rating.
Governing Magazine, which covers politics, policy and management for a national readership of state and local electeds, points out that New Jersey under Christie relied on tax incentives to businesses as strategy to turn NJ’s economy around. And despite forking over nearly $2 billion – billion!– in tax incentives, New Jersey’s job growth lags behind the nation, and the region in job growth.