EAST BRUNSWICK – Acting Gov. Kim Guadagno said today at a Department of Banking and Insurance symposium at a Hilton hotel here that New Jersey is “turning the corner” when it comes to the jobs outlook.
She told the packed auditiorium of business executives that if they are not convinced by various independent surveys, look at the recent news about companies that were on the brink of leaving the state but remained.
Companies like Church and Dwight, Bayer, and LG Electronics all were preparing to leave the state due to the high taxes, she said. However, they eventually agreed to stay, proving that the allure of other states such as Pennsylvania and its lower taxes could be overcome.
“People have started to talk about New Jersey in a different way,” she said, adding that the state reduced the corporate business tax by $180 million alone. “They will begin to hire again,” she said.
“There is some sense that if you invest in New Jersey, New Jersey will invest back in you.”
In the last 22 months, the Christie Administration helped create 49,0000 private-sector jobs, she told the assembly.
“It is not enough, and it will probably never be enough,” Guadagno admitted. However, that number should be compared to the more than 100,000 jobs that were lost the year before they came into office, she said.
The unemployment rate is at 9.1 percent, down from the 10 percent rate that existed before they came into office.
Guadagno also heralded the streamlining of regulations and cutting of red tape that has also taken place during her tenure. She is in charge of the Red Tape Review Commission that Gov. Christie established shortly after taking office.
“Regulations have to make sense,’’ she said.
She visited 100 businesses in the last nine months and she said their top complaint – after taxes – is the high insurance costs.
Guadagno told the crowd to make inroads in addressing this problem. “The answer is in this room,” she told the assembly of banking and insurance professionals.