New Jersey’s unemployment rate continues to hover above the rest of the nation but jobs are growing in the Garden State, according to Gov. Chris Christie.
The growth is so good that Christie highlighted job gains during his State of the State address on Jan. 8.
"In total, we have added nearly 75,000 private sector jobs in New Jersey since we took office in January 2010," he told lawmakers in Trenton.
Christie has had a mixed bag of results from the Truth-O-Meter when it comes to claims about jobs. This time, however, he’s on target.
Let’s review the facts.
Christie became governor on Jan. 19, 2010, so we’ll measure private-sector job growth from that month, as well as February 2010 – his first full month in office. Also, since Christie gave his State of the State address on Jan. 8, we’re looking at job growth through November 2012. The December jobs numbers didn’t come out until Thursday, but we’ll note those figures later.
New Jersey had 3,203,200 jobs in January 2010 and 3,269,900 jobs in November 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a net gain of 66,700 jobs.
But Christie’s figure is on the mark if we start the jobs clock a month later.
New Jersey had 3,197,600 private-sector jobs in February 2010 and 3,269,900 jobs in November 2012, according to BLS data. That net gain is 72,300 jobs.
But 75,000 isn’t the highest private-sector jobs number that New Jersey has seen during Christie’s tenure.
In a July 2, 2012 speech to the state Legislature, where he presented his case for a tax cut, Christie said the state had added "nearly 85,000 private-sector jobs" since Feburary 2010.
Joseph J. Seneca, an economics professor with the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, said New Jersey’s jobs losses from June through October 2012 was at odds with national job growth. October’s Hurricane Sandy resulted in more significant job losses in November, but employment started to realign in December, he said.
And seasonal hires were only part of the story for a major upswing in job growth announced Thursday: employers added 30,200 workers from across all major labor sectors to their payrolls.
Factoring in those numbers, New Jersey’s private-sector job growth from February 2010 through December 2012 is 103,200, Seneca said.
"Moving into 2013, New Jersey’s economy is poised to continue to grow," Seneca said. "There are still question marks out there with the federal fiscal debt and potential government shutdown and all the drama in Washington being played out again, but the December numbers are a big relief and catch up from what had been a pretty weak prior six months, but it’s much more consistent now with what’s been happening nationally."
Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak and Kevin Roberts did not return a request for comment.
Christie said during his State of the State address, "In total, we have added nearly 75,000 private sector jobs in New Jersey since we took office in January 2010."
If measured from January 2010, New Jersey’s job growth through November 2012 (December jobs figures didn’t come out until Thursday) was 66,700 jobs.
Measured from February 2010 – Christie’s first full month in office – the net private-sector gains are 72,300 jobs.
The numbers only get better. After the release of December’s job figures, New Jersey’s net private-sector job growth since January 2010 is 97,600 jobs. From February 2010, it’s 103,200 jobs.
We rate the governor’s statement True.
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