We found out yesterday that New Jersey’s unemployment rate climbed from 9.2% to 9.3% last month. 391,400 are still out there looking for work. Granted, if President Obama’s post-recession recovery rate matched Ronald Reagan’s, we’d have 15.7 million more employed Americans today. But unfortunately Ronald Reagan isn’t president, Save Jerseyans. It’s a fact we live with every day!
The weird part about these new numbers? Private sector employers added 3,000 positions. Local governments are hiring, too:
“While local governments hired 1,600 people, 600 jobs were lost in the state government.”
It’s well-established that official jobless numbers usually lowball the real unemployment picture because many workers throw in the towel as the economy stagnates.
What I can’t understand is the rationale for a municipality to add to its payroll right now when most towns are raising property taxes. 1,600 jobs works out to about 2.8 new employees per town. We have Democrats like Lou Greenwald agitating for new local taxation powers. Why, Assemblyman? So they can hire more dog license distributors and playground hedge trimmers?
The Governor’s toolkit and newly-unveiled education reforms could make a difference if the Legislature would stop politicking and start governing. In the meantime (which could be awhile, thanks to the new reapportionment map), every New Jersey taxpayer should scrutinize their municipal government and regional school board. There’s NO EXC– USE to grow local government when your family is struggling. We’ll get a chance to hold school board members accountable on April 27th. The rest will have to wait for November.