New Reports Paints Bleak Picture Of NJ Economic Conditions

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STATE – A report released today by New Jersey Policy Perspective shows that most Garden State residents are worse off now than they were 10 years ago.

According to “The State of Working New Jersey 2011: The Lost Decade” by Helene Jorgensen, there were 140,000 fewer jobs in 2010 than their were in 2000. There were 2.7 times as many people unemployed – 425,700 in 2010 versus 157,500 in 2000.

The report paints an equally grim picture of wages. Real median income for the typical household fell $278 from $63,818 in 2000 to $63,540 in 2010. Income declined for the bottom 60 percent of households, and increased by less than 2.5 percent for the top 40 percent over the decade. Approximately 237,000 more people lived in poverty in 2010 than at the beginning of the decade.

The report recommends that the state “maintain and expand its minimum wage, earned income tax credit, unemployment insurance system, public health insurance programs, child care assistance and paid family leave” to prevent more New Jersey residents from falling into poverty.

The full report is available at New Jersey Policy Perspective’s website.

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