Wells Fargo: Slow economic growth in 2015 for New Jersey
If you live in New Jersey and you like a mediocre economy you're in the right place. Wells Fargo has released its 2015 Economic Outlook report and it predicted a so-so year for the Garden State.
The outlook focused on several key issues: lackluster state job growth; Atlantic City's ongoing struggles and housing affordability.
"Employment is still below its pre-recession peak and employment gains have been relatively slow," said Wells Fargo economist Mike Wolf. "The problems are, obviously the Atlantic City issue, but also that the major industries within the state namely pharmaceuticals have really struggled to ramp back up."
Employment is up just 1.6 percent from a year ago in New Jersey, on a three-month moving average basis, while it is up 1.9 percent in the nation, according to the report. The report also stated that of the 21 counties in the state, only Salem posted year ago employment gains greater than the national average.
The outlook suggested that a slowdown in business investment has resulted in a soft market. The housing recovery has also lagged behind the rest of the county, while the rebound in the apartment market is probably nearing its peak. Wolf said the positive for New Jersey is that it is less expensive to live in the Garden State than it is to live in New York City.
National economic growth has helped New Jersey's important transportation and distribution sectors and financial services are seeing an uptick, according to the outlook.
"Overall, I think it's sort of slow growth. It's not terrible. I don't think New Jersey's going to drop back into a recession, but I think it's going to be sort of a slow, steady recovery. I wouldn't expect a big snap back, but I wouldn't expect a big drop either," Wolf predicted.