Well, the figures aren’t exactly good – 7.3% unemployment in New Jersey up from a seasonally adjusted 6.8% in December. The positive spin from state officials ( at least on the Democratic side ) is that NJ is still tracking lower than the national average of 7.6%.
Labor Commissioner David Socolow says New Jersey didn’t experience some of the highs coming out of the last recession, so some of the lows in this one are less pronounced. 85,700 jobs have been lost in New Jersey during 2008. But here is the interesting part…one of the only areas of job growth was the public sector. In 2008 local governments in New Jersey gained 3000 jobs. Republicans have been complaining about too much government expansion and not enough focus private sector growth.
And what happened to all those predictions that the economy will start to recover by second or third quarter ’09? Now, the hope is end of 2010, possibly 2011. Pretty grim picture.