The January 2013 R/ECON forecast for New Jersey looks for growth in non-agricultural employment of 1.2 percent or 45,700 jobs in 2012. All of the increase was in the first half of the year. Since June the number of jobs in the state has fallen, except in the month ofAugust with the largest decline in November when the fallout from Hurricane Sandy was recorded. Although this is an above-average growth rate as the economy finally exits the “Great Recession,” the rate will slow as the recovery/expansion progresses. Growth will continue between 2012 and 2022 at an average rate of 0.8 percent or 33,700 jobs per year. The level of jobs will recover to the 2007 peak in 2018; by the end of the forecast period the employment level will be only 158,900 jobs greater than the peak level.
The U.S. will begin its job expansion more than three years earlier—in mid-2014. We expect that during the recovery and expansion, employment growth in the U.S. will outperform that in New Jersey—as it has for most of the past two decades. By the end of the forecast period the nation’s employment base will exceed the peak reached in 2007 by 9.6 percent, and New Jersey’s share of the national job base will decline from its current 2.93 percent to 2.81 percent in 2022.
In terms of gross output, New Jersey lost 4.8 percent in 2009 and regained 30 percent of it in 2010. Real gross domestic product fell 3.6 percent from $444 billion in 2008 to $428 billion in 2011, even with the upward bounce in 2010. Real output in the U.S. declined 3.8 percent, from 2007 to 2009, rather than from 2008 to 2011 as was the case in New Jersey. R/ECON forecasts that New Jersey output will return to the peak 2008 level by 2014. The loss in GDP for the U.S. in 2008 and 2009 was more than recovered by 2011. Between 2011 and 2022, output in New Jersey will expand at an average rate of 1.8 percent a year. This is considerably slower than the average rate of 2.6 percent a year expected nationwide.