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When the economy goes sour and firms start issuing pink slips, most employees just try to keep their heads down and hope to hold on until the storm blows over. What they rarely want to do is go on record and talk about turnover in their offices. Unless, of course, they can remain anonymous. According to our poll results, 43% of respondents claim that the downturn hasn’t affected turnover at their firm. About 10% fewer (32%) say it’s affected turnover tremendously. On a sobering note, slightly more than a quarter of respondents (26%) say they’re now looking for a new job. Those people might want to see what Dr. Joseph Seneca, a professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, has to say about the current market in New Jersey. Dr. Seneca shares information on what firms are still hiring, and the businesses that are feeling the economic pinch.

“In the private sector, 10,500 jobs were lost in the first quarter, indicating that New Jersey is fully enveloped in the developing national recession. Over the same period of time, the national economy lost 286,000 private sector jobs, so we actually had a little bit more than our share.

“There have been job losses in construction, as is expected from the housing bust. Construction lost about 1,900 jobs, manufacturing lost 1,400 jobs; even the private service providing area lost 7,200 jobs focused in retail and wholesale trade. There have been losses in the transportation, information and financial activities sectors as well.

“The only sectors to gain in the first quarter were professional business services, there we gained 500 jobs, and education and healthcare, which are pretty recession proof, gained about 2,000 jobs. Hospitality gained about 600 jobs and the public sector about 800 jobs.

“So, overall, the state is suffering from the effects of the developing national recession, and going forward it’s going to be a difficult year, particularly in the finance sector, which is very exposed in the region. That sector has lost 1,000 jobs year to date. Finance has been the multiplier, the regional dynamo over the last several years, and now as it contracts, as it inevitably must with the significant losses of the financial institutions, the contraction in that sector in terms of jobs, incomes and office space is certainly going to affect the regional economy.”

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