New Jersey was setting job-creation records in the past two months but experts warned the COVID-19 bounce-back would take quite a bit of time.

A new report finds it will take even longer than first thought because of recent coronavirus spikes across the country.

"Coronavirus Economic Rebound: Bucking New Headwinds” says the COVID flare-ups in other regions of the country has led to companies delaying investments and hiring.

Rutgers University economics professor James Hughes, one of the report's authors, said that even though New Jersey now has one of the lowest transmission, infection and hospitalization rates in the country, “we do have people migrating in and out of the state and so if there’s a flare-up someplace else it can easily be brought to New Jersey.”

He said that while New Jersey may be doing better, problems elsewhere in the nation will continue to "affect consumer psychology."

“Consumption is a big part of the economy and if people close their checkbooks or put their credit card in the drawer and stop using it, then that’s going to be felt throughout the economy," he said.

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He said economists are seeing a V-shaped — or rapid — recovery.

“What is clear is until we fully conquer the disease, until we get a vaccine, it’s going to be a long, slow recovery," he said.

The report is the third in a series of Fast Track Research Notes published by the Rutgers Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation on the pandemic’s economic fallout.

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You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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