NEW BRUNSWICK – Dean Jim Hughes of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Rutgers University, who joked he is known as the “Dr. Kevorkian” of New Jersey economic news, delivered some good news Wednesday morning.
Having lost some 117,700 private-sector jobs from December 2008 to December 2009, the state went from modest job growth throughout 2010 (5,200 jobs created) and in the first few months of this year saw 19,800 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“We have gone from hemorrhaging to stabilization to strong growth,” Hughes told a group of about 100 business professionals here.
However, he cautioned that job growth, based on results of the C-Suite Survey taken by some 114 companies, will be constrained, as cost-cutting will remain part of “the new normal” for companies to maximize revenues and profits.
Nationally, after 5.47 million jobs were lost in 8 months between September 2008 and April 2009, there were 1.173 million jobs gained from December 2009 to December 2010, to 854,000 new jobs between December 2010 and April.
He said that the so-called “Great Recession” lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, and was the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression from August 1929 to March 1933.
While the recovery has been mostly slow in the last year, businesses are reporting more confidence in the state, which has one of the highest business taxes.
The first quarter did see some challenges to the economy in the first quarter of 2011, due to high crude oil prices and the impact of the devastating earthquake in Japan, he said.