BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Business Report Plus: NJ’s economy lost 6,300 jobs last month

BY Rhonda Schaffler, Correspondent |
  • Preliminary data shows New Jersey lost 6,300 jobs in September
  • Small businesses in New Jersey receive record amount of federal loans
  • Administration says lower corporate taxes will significantly boost the economy
  • New Jersey delegation will continue to fight for tax deductions despite House vote
  • Markets continue to march through new record territory

It’s hard to make sense of the latest news on jobs we reported earlier this week. The State Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently said the Garden State lost 6,300 jobs in September, according to preliminary data from the federal government. It’s a surprising number, considering New Jersey has been steadily adding jobs all year — more than 31,000 new private sector jobs have been created in the past 12 months. Often times, monthly jobs numbers jump around, so hopefully the September numbers were just an aberration.

The Small Business Administration says it’s behind the creation of thousands of new jobs in New Jersey, thanks to loans made to Garden State entrepreneurs. The SBA says over the past fiscal year, 18 out of 21 counties in the state saw an increase in SBA loan approvals.

Courtesy: U.S. Small Business Administration

“In 2017, SBA loans have helped New Jersey companies to create 8,666 jobs and retain another 10,671 jobs,” said SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone in a news release.” When you look at it that way, our programs are having significant impact on our local economy.”

The SBA says it approved a record $869 million in loans to small business owners in our state.

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Could tax reform in Washington D.C. lead to even more job creation? Supporters say, absolutely yes. President Trump’s Council on Economic Advisors on Friday released reports that argued lower corporate taxes will significantly boost the economy, create jobs and lead to higher wages. That’s been one endless frustration about the current economic cycle. While jobs are growing, wages haven’t been growing as sharply as in past cycles, so we don’t feel as good about our own financial welfare.

Tax reform talk will continue next week, and one sticking point is what happens to the federal deduction for state and local taxes. In New Jersey, it’s a big deal, considering we pay higher property taxes than many other states. New Jersey’s Congressional delegation has launched a full court press to try to save the deduction, which is known as SALT (State and Local Tax Deduction).

We’ll be paying close attention to that next week, along with what happens to 401K deductions in the tax reform proposal. There was some talk about limiting the tax deductions on 401K contributions, although President Trump said there would be no change in that tax incentive. Financial gurus already worry that we’re not saving enough for retirement, and that’s something we’ll explore next week during our interview with Sri Reddy, a retirement expert at Prudential.

On Wall Street this week, the markets continued to march through new record territory, helped along by some strong quarterly earnings reports by big companies. One New Jersey biotechnology company struggled though in its last quarter. Stock of Summit-based Celgene tumbled on Thursday after it reported disappointing results.