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12 / 135

4,100

12%

4,050

10%

4,000

8%

In Thousands

3,950

3,900

6%

3,850

4%

3,800

2%

3,750

3,700

  • *

    ** **

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

%

Nonfarm Payroll Employment

Unemployment Rate

  • *

    Preliminary

** Projections

Source:

U.S. Bureau of Labor Analysis

Nonetheless, other indicators show other underlying concerns if New Jersey’s fiscal house is not put in order, which is why Governor Christie continues to focus on maintaining fiscal discipline. Financial problems and debt continues to beset many households and small businesses. Federal Reserve Bank of New York calculations from credit bureau data show that New Jersey borrowers owed an average of $60,800 in debt at the end of last year, well above the national average of $47,400. These private debt burdens place New Jersey citizens at risk if economic and financial conditions deteriorate.

New Jersey is still working to recover from the collapse of the housing market. The market is beginning to show signs of stabilizing, but is still glutted with foreclosed properties. The New York Federal Reserve reports that the fraction of New Jersey mortgages more than 90 days’ delinquent is 7.8%, which is comparable to the high U.S. figure.

Looking ahead to growth sectors in the State’s economy, New Jersey should be in a fortunate position. Our state retains large concentrations of employers in the life sciences, telecommunications, and finance -- sectors likely to grow at a faster clip as the national economy expands.

These sectors employ highly-skilled, well-educated, and generally highly-paid workers who pump significant revenue into local economies. New Jersey is one of the national leaders in the share of population with a post-graduate education. That concentration of brainpower should continue to attract

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