New Jersey economy on the mend

Even as a multitude of snowstorms hammered the east coast in February, the state of New Jersey had its most economically successful month in more than two years.

Over the last six months, experts have said that the recession has ended and the economy is back on track. However, significant improvements in the job market had not been felt by the majority of residents.

Fortunately, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development reported on Wednesday that the state added 3,700 jobs in February, all of which came in the private sector, reports. The unemployment rate is now at a five-month low of 9.8 percent.

“I’m starting to get interviews, maybe once every two weeks, whereas before it wasn’t that much,” said Justine Nardone, 54, of Ocean Grove, who is currently unemployed.

The state of New Jersey saw the jobless rate increase for 23 consecutive months from December of 2007 to the end of last year, more than doubling the unemployment rate in that time. However, as the state and the nation have put together a string of economically vibrant months, consumers and job seekers are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s certainly a positive sign,” said James Hughes, an economist and dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, quoted by the news source. “I think we’re going to see an erratic pattern going forward, which happens at the end of recessions.”

Overall employment in the state grew to 3,853,400 in February, with the largest gains seen in the financial activities industry, the professional and business services field as well as the health and education sectors, according to Business Week.

Meanwhile, Michael Drewniak, press secretary for Governor Chris Christie, reiterated on Wednesday the administration’s pledge to reform the business climate in the state of New Jersey and make job creation the number one priority.

While calling the Department of Labor report “reassuring,” Drewniak also noted that the governor and his staff have plenty of work still to do.

“The governor and his entire administration are committed to restoring fiscal stability, growing our economy and reforming our business climate to secure New Jersey’s place as a place for strong, ongoing business growth and job creation,” he said in a statement.