Economic News

FOMC’s Annual Retreat This Week

The Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), is scheduled to meet this week for its annual retreat. The FOMC will meet Thursday through Saturday in Jackson Hole, WY.

State’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.3 Percent in July, Below National Rate

New Jersey’s unemployment rate, which set a record low of 3.5 percent for June, fell another 0.2 percentage point in July to 3.3 percent, the lowest monthly rate since statewide records began in 1976 and 0.4 percentage point below the national rate of 3.7 percent, according to preliminary estimates produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment levels were essentially unchanged over the month, as total nonfarm wage and salary employment in the state decreased by 500 in July to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,202,000.

NY Fed Releases Quarterly Report on Household Debt

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Center for Microeconomic Data’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for 2Q 2019 released Tuesday showed total household debt reached a new high of $13.86 trillion – $1.2 trillion (in nominal terms) more than the previous peak reached in the third quarter of 2008.

NJ CPAs Say Student Loan Debt is a Financial Crisis

The NJ Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJCPA) Monday released the results of its June member survey which found that more than 80 percent of 623 certified public accountants surveyed said they either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” that student loan debt at $1.6 trillion in the United States is a financial crisis. More than 75 percent of respondents considered student loan debt in New Jersey to be a “major problem.”

Revised 4Q GDP Data Fuels Recession Concerns

The US economy grew at a 2.2 percent annual pace in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday in a revised estimate of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The figure was revised down from the previously estimated growth rate of 2.6 percent. It also is significantly lower than the strong growth the economy enjoyed earlier in 2018 and suggests that commerce is beginning to slow in 2019.

Earlier, More Aggressive Flu Season Could Cost Nation’s Employers $9.4 Billion

The aggressive strain of flu currently making its way across the country is prompting experts to issue warnings to reduce the spread of infections. One such warning is to stay out of the workplace during an illness. While this is advice workers should follow, it is likely to lead to millions of lost workdays and billions of dollars in lost productivity.

Report Says Connecticut’s Fiscal Crisis is a Cautionary Tale for New Jersey

MORRISTOWN, N.J. -- A new report by Garden State Initiative (GSI) warns of the common fiscal challenges of New Jersey and Connecticut, and the risk the Garden State takes if it follows Connecticut’s lead in trying to tax its way to prosperity. With just three weeks to go in a gubernatorial race that has focused largely on taxes, the report was released the same week The Tax Foundation released its 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index showing New Jersey has the least competitive tax code in the nation.

Garden State among Three States with Negative Job Growth in September, Down 600 Jobs

ROSELAND, N.J. -- New Jersey non-farming, private sector, non-farming jobs decreased by 600 during the month of September, according to the ADP Regional Employment Report produced by ADP and Moody’s Analytics, Inc. Distributed to the public free of charge, the ADP Regional Employment Report measures the change in regional and state non-farm, private sector employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Percentage of Borrowers with $20k in Student Debt Doubled Over Last Decade, According to CFPB Findings

Record Student Debt Spurring Employers to Offer Student Loan Repayment Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week released a new data point finding that nearly half of student loan borrowers leave school owing at least $20,000 – double the share of borrowers a decade ago. The Bureau also found that more borrowers are taking out student loans later in life, and fewer borrowers are paying down their student debt in five years. Record student debt and associated borrower stress is spurring more employers to offer student loan repayment benefits to their employees, according to a separate CFPB report released today. This report features a series of recommendations to help employers and other companies that manage benefits programs ensure that borrowers receive the maximum value.

NJ Economic Outlook Dim, Nearly Worst in Nation Report Finds

ARLINGTON, Va. -- A report released this week by a pro-business legislative group concluded that New Jersey has one of the worst economic outlooks in the nation.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, also known as ALEC, report titled “Rich States, Poor States, 9th Edition,” found the Garden State ranked 48th when it came to its economic outlook. 

The calculation weighed more than a dozen variables, ranging from the state’s minimum wage to property tax burden. According to the report, Utah had the best economic outlook for 2017 while New York had the worst. 

New Jersey and Millennials Perfect Together, Not

WASHINGTON -- A new WalletHub study found that New Jersey ranked 40 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia when it comes to quality of life for millennials.

When asked why the Garden State was ranked so low, WalletHub said housing costs was a key factor.

“Forty-five percent of millennials are still living with their parents, that is what really dragged New Jersey down,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst for WalletHub.

Over Past Decade, Savings Habits Eroded, According to Tenth Annual Savings Survey

WASHINGTON – The tenth annual America Saves Week survey revealed that fewer than two-fifths (38%) of American households report good or excellent progress in meeting their savings needs, with over one-quarter (27%) indicating no progress at all. The survey findings were released on the first day of the eleventh annual America and Military Saves Weeks. More than 1,500 nonprofit, government, and business organizations at the national, state, and local levels have joined to promote personal savings.

Yellen Testimony Matches CUNA Economists’ Outlook for 2017

WASHINGTON – Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testified before the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday and the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, and her remarks match CUNA economists’ prediction of moderate economic growth in 2017. Perc Pineda, senior economist at CUNA, also predicted rate hikes this year.

State’s Income Gap One of the Widest, and Growing

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey now has the nation's seventh highest income gap between richest and poorest residents, according to a report released last week by two policy research groups. Four years ago, New Jersey ranked 11th in income inequality and 14th in 2008, according to these reports.