Reasons NJ’s recession recovery is moving slowly
It is no secret that New Jersey's recovery from the recession is lagging far behind neighboring states. Democratic legislators have consistently blamed Gov. Chris Christie. At a Senate Budget Committee hearing on Tuesday, Christie's treasurer was asked about the topic and laid out several reasons for the Garden State's slow rebound.
"Why do you think our economy is lagging some of our surrounding states? When it comes to tax revenues what's your thoughts on why we're lagging other states," asked Senate Budget Panel Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge).
While acknowledging that he is not an economist, State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff said there are multiple answers to Sarlo's question.
"New Jersey went into recession 7-11 months behind the rest of the nation and we fell further than most of our competitive states or compatriot states," Sidamon-Eristoff said. "We were really hard hit and it's taken us longer to get out of that trough."
The treasurer said a fundamental shift in the economy of New Jersey over the last 15-20 years in the way people live and how they work. He said the days of the suburban office park are painfully behind us. More and more people are moving to urban areas and working from home, he said.
"With the advent of telecommunications and the shrinkage in key industries, notably tele-comm and pharma here in New Jersey along with the demographic shifts we are unfortunately a little bit out of alignment structurally I think. So, that's been a major drag," Sidamon-Eristoff said.
Pennsylvania has been able to exploit fracking for revenue which has been a significant benefit to that state's economy and New York's rebound is due in part to a tremendous infusion of more than $80 billion in special federal aid the treasurer said.