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New Jersey’s strongest asset is its much-vaunted prosperity. We are one of the richest states in the nation, with a median household income, based on a three-year average from 2009 to 2011, that ranks fourth in the nation at $65,072, according to the US Census. This prosperity is due largely to the accident of our geography, including our proximity to the East Coast’s largest port and our location between two major cities at the heart of one of the world’s largest consumer markets.

But our continued prosperity is threatened by an anemic level of job growth that puts us at a competitive disadvantage with other states. New Jersey’s private-sector job growth has lagged behind the national average in the aftermath of the recession, according to a recently released report by a high profile budget task force. New Jersey added only 44,300 private sector jobs, or a 1.4% increase, during the period analyzed, from June 2009 to May 2012, with the report comparing the performance of New Jersey’s economy to that of five other states. By contrast, New York saw private sector jobs grow by 4.4% in the same period, and the United States experienced a 2.9% jump in its private workforce.

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