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NJ Finishes 2013 on High Note [AUDIO]

With only a few days left until the new year, Gov. Chris Christie thinks New Jersey is closing out 2013 in fine financial form.

Gov. Chris Christie with Eric Scott
Gov. Chris Christie in studio with Eric Scott (Annette Petriccione, Townsquare Media NJ)

The governor said state revenue figures are rising and tax collections are up from their previous levels.

“And think about this,” Christie said Monday night during Townsquare Media’s “Ask the Governor” program. “The unemployment rate went down six-tenths of 1 percent in a month. That’s the largest single drop in the state unemployment rate since we’ve been keeping statistics, and it gets us below 8 percent for the first time since 2008.”

Christie also said New Jerseyans have set a record for personal income within the last quarter.

“I think things are really moving in the right direction and I think we need to continue to do more, to get more and more people back to work,” Christie said. “I’m pleased with where we’re headed, and I think a lot of people in New Jersey are pleased too.”

Many of the jobs being created these days are high-tech and high-salaried, according to the governor.

“We’re seeing manufacturing jobs being created again, and I believe this is in part because this administration has worked on energy affordability,” Christie said. “Folks are coming here now and seeing, because of our reliance on natural gas and the drop in natural gas prices, that we’re making electricity a lot more affordable for folks.”

Christie added, while there is concern about the agriculture field, that particular industry is one that continuously poses challenges because of cost and competition.

New Jersey residents seem to be getting more optimistic, but that doesn’t mean the governor isn’t concerned about the state’s financial health going forward.

“There’s still a little bit of a lack of complete confidence that it’s going to be sustainable,” Christie said. “Until that confidence comes fully back, there will always be a little bit of worry on my part, and everybody else’s part.”

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