Lawmakers react to jobless figures

TRENTON – Reaction to the September jobless rate of 9.8 percent was swift.

Assembly Budget Committee Chair Vincent Prieto, (D-32), Secaucus, said in a release that “I’m pleased that the numbers have moved downward this month rather than upward, but clearly there is still a lot of work left to be done in New Jersey.

“We are still trending a full two points higher than the national average and just the other day, the Governor’s own Treasury officials warned investors that the state’s revenue collections continue to lag far behind their predictions. 

“I don’t know how many bells and whistles need to go off before the Governor realizes it’s time to come back to New Jersey and focus on fixing our state.”

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo, (D-36), Wood-Ridge, said that “A one-tenth-of-one-percent drop in unemployment is no cause for dancing in the streets or on the unemployment line.

“We are still far above the national average, above our neighboring states and above any level that is anywhere near acceptable by any rational person. We’re now back to where we were two months ago. And let’s not forget that when unemployment rose by one-tenth-of-one-percent last month, the administration dismissed it as remaining ‘essentially unchanged.’

“How many months do things have to remain ‘essentially unchanged’ to finally be a cause for action in the front office? The simple fact remains that the governor still hasn’t put forward a comprehensive plan to create jobs. The governor’s do-nothing attitude is not working.”

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald was pleased to see the rate dip, but added, “With New Jersey’s unemployment rate two full percentage points above the national average, it’s nowhere near good enough.”

He and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, state committee chairman, both criticized Christie for the amount of time spent out of state campaigning.

Instead of pointing fingers or spending the day visiting the Indiana plant of a company that cut 258 New Jersey jobs, perhaps the Governor should reconsider his vetoes of bipartisan job-creation bills,” Wisniewski said. 

Lawmakers react to jobless figures