New Jersey Job Growth to Continue to Trail U.S., Economist Says

New Jersey, where job growth lags behind the nation’s, won’t return to peak employment until mid-2017, a Rutgers University economist predicted.

Though the state’s economy is performing better this year than in 2014, it will continue to grow more slowly than the U.S. as a whole through 2025, Nancy Mantell, director of the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service, said in a statement Friday. She expects unemployment to average 6.3 percent this year and 6 percent next year.

New Jersey’s unemployment rate dropped in August to 5.7 percent, the lowest since August 2008 and down from a high of 9.8 percent in January 2010. The national rate is 5.1 percent.

Neighbors New York and Pennsylvania have jobless levels of 5.2 percent and 5.4 percent, respectively.

Governor Chris Christie, a Republican who took office in 2010 and is running for president, has lowered business taxes, cut regulatory hurdles and awarded corporate tax incentives in an effort to create and keep jobs. Democrats who control the legislature say he isn’t doing enough.

New Jersey still hasn’t regained all the jobs it lost during the last recession, unlike its neighbors and the U.S. as a whole.

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