40 percent of New Jerseyans are struggling to make ends meet, report shows
A new report finds four out of 10 households in New Jersey are struggling to make ends meet.
The survey by the Corporation for Enterprise Development ranks the Garden State 25th in the nation for the financial security of its residents.
“All states were graded on 61 different measures covering five different issue areas: financial assets and income, businesses and jobs, housing and home ownership, healthcare and education, and the worst showing for the state is in the area of housing and home ownership, where we rank New Jersey 49th," said Holden Weisman, the State and local policy manager for the Corporation for Enterprise Development. “This has a lot to do with several different measures, one of which is the foreclosure rate in the state, where New Jersey is ranked last so it has the highest foreclosure rate.”
Weisman pointed out another measure where New Jersey ranks at or near the bottom is on the percentage of homeowners with delinquent mortgage loans.
"Those mortgage loans that are at least 90 days overdue. Jersey ranks 50th, worst in the nation in this category," he said.
He added another big negative in the Garden State is “the affordability of homes in New Jersey, or I should actually say the unaffordability of homes in New Jersey coupled with the high levels of income inequality in the state .”
He said the Garden State also has a high cost of living overall. We also have a higher unemployment rate than most states, and “also there’s a relatively high level of under-employment too, we ranked the state overall 32nd in this area.”
Just over 11 percent of Garden State workers are ranked as under-employed, meaning they want to work more but cannot," Weisman said.
On the plus side, he said out “New Jersey has a very good showing in the area of education, having generally very good outcomes overall there.”
The Garden State also gets generally high marks for health care as well but “uninsured rates in the state remain pretty high, especially if it’s broken out by race and income.”
He added this is not unusual in states with high ethnic diversity and income inequality.
The state with the highest ranking for financial security of its residents is Vermont, the worst ranked state is Mississippi.