N.J. ranks second-worst in terms of long-term unemployment, report says

Eric Strauss//October 15, 2014

N.J. ranks second-worst in terms of long-term unemployment, report says

Eric Strauss//October 15, 2014

New Jersey continues to struggle with the problem of long-term unemployment, according to a report released Wednesday by New Jersey Policy Perspective.The report found that among the state’s unemployed, nearly half — 46.3 percent — have been out of work for six months or more. That ranks New Jersey 49th among states, ahead of only Florida (at 46.5 percent). The Garden State’s rate is nearly 10 percentage points higher than the overall national rate of 36.9 percent, New Jersey Policy Perspective said.

“Unfortunately, Congress failed to take the one step that could have had the greatest positive impact on the long-term unemployed when it did not renew federal emergency unemployment benefits at the end of 2013,” NJPP said in its report. “In this year alone, this benefit cut is harming about 250,000 out-of-work New Jerseyans and tens of thousands of their children, as well as the state’s economy — $250 million was estimated to be lost just in the first two months of the year.”

Nationally, one of the Great Recession’s aftereffects is the continued limitations on spending by households and businesses, which is in turn limiting hiring, the research firm said. 

“This long-term unemployment crisis is not talked about as much as the unemployment rate, but it is an important problem — and one that is being largely ignored by policymakers,” NJPP said.

Not only is New Jersey’s long-term unemployment rate higher than the national average, it is higher than during past recoveries. In 1985, 1995 and 2005, four years after three other recessions, the rate ranged from 13.1 percent to 23.2 percent, NJPP said. The 2013 rate of 46.6 percent is more than double the previous high for a post-recession recovery.

“The persistently high levels of long-term unemployment in the Garden State is immediately damaging for New Jersey’s families and the state’s economy and threatens economic opportunity for both the long-term unemployed and their children,” NJPP said.


N.J. Senate approves new sports betting bill

EDA approves $180M in incentives, but Lockheed project not among them

Which industries are driving N.J. office demand?