TRENTON – Democrats criticized the state’s rising jobless rate today as evidence that the Christie administration’s policies are not working.
The state reported that it added 9,900 jobs in June, but its unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent from 9.2 percent in May.
Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus, and head of the Assembly Budget Committee, said 9.6 percent is the highest the state’s jobless rate has been in approximately two years.
“This is especially troubling since the biggest gains came in the area of leisure and hospitality, which typically employ temporary, seasonal workers this time of year,” he said in a release.
“And it’s all the more disconcerting because the governor has vetoed dozens of jobs bills we’ve passed over the last two years while falsely trumpeting a ‘Jersey Comeback.’ Repeating something ad nauseam doesn’t make it reality.
“Instead of yelling at everyone to ‘get the hell off the beach,’ he should stop burying his head in the sand. There’s more work to be done,” said Prieto.
Lou Greenwald, (D-6), Camden, and Assembly majority leader, said that “Under this governor, New Jersey’s unemployment rate trails our neighboring states and lags the national average by more than a full point. Our friends and neighbors continue to suffer under his economic policies while he is trotting around the country in search of speaking opportunities.”
Greenwald referenced Christie’s comments at a fundraiser for presidential candidate Mitt Romney in which he criticized the president because the national unemployment rate was over 8 percent.
“Perhaps if Governor Christie approached job creation and middle-class property tax relief with the same zeal he’s had for protecting tax cuts for millionaires, New Jersey wouldn’t have ranked 47th in the nation in economic growth last year.”
Christie vetoed the Legislature’s bid to reinstate a millionaire’s tax this year.
Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, and head of the Senate Budget Committee, said, “Clearly the economic policies of this administration are not creating the necessary jobs needed to turn this economy around.”
He added that he was “surprised and concerned” about the new unemployment numbers. “I want to see that number at an all-time low, not at an all-time high.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, (D-19), Sayreville, and chairman of the Democratic State Committee, said, “Apparently the road to Tampa goes straight through Fantasyland, as Governor Christie continues to tout a fairy tale ‘Jersey Comeback’ on his road to the Republican National Convention.
“Back in New Jersey, where Christie’s allegedly still the governor, we’re now experiencing 9.6 percent unemployment. Christie’s had three years to help New Jersey get back to work, and his agenda is not working.”