‘There is positive news’ — NJ is maintaining its economic momentum
A new report finds the New Jersey economic recovery from the pandemic shutdown is doing better than other parts of the country, including across the Hudson River.
Rutgers economics professor and scholar James Hughes said the national recovery slowed down over the summer in part because of COVID-19 flare ups in a number of different states.
New Jersey was one of the earliest hard-hit states and many jobs were lost but they’re coming back.
“The recovery rate is about 41% and that’s very close to the national level. But two months ago we were lagging way, way behind,” Hughes said.
“There is positive news out there,” said Hughes. “The economy in the state has been sustaining its growth and momentum over the summer while [the economy has] been faltering nationally.
He said at this point it would appear this positive trend in the Garden State will continue.
“We still have to recover about 59% of our job losses to get back to where we were in February when the recession began,” said Hughes.
That means recovering 490,000 more jobs lost during the pandemic.
He said this is doable but it’s hard to predict how the situation will play out, especially if a second wave of the pandemic hits the region and requires renewed shutdowns.
“The coronavirus is the controlling factor right now,” he said. “ It’s holding things back and has the potential to provide setbacks.”
Hughes said while the job recovery in the Garden State is positive, the much slower recovery in New York City is concerning because New Jersey's economy is intertwined with New York.
Hughes also noted the pandemic has the potential to fundamentally reshape Jersey’s housing market.
“We’re using our homes for shelter as well as remote workplaces and for educational purposes,” he said. "This is a new multi-functional reality that is changing the housing landscape.”