Activity Report: NJ Economy Reviving, Strong Home Sales, Investments in State Pensions, Unemployment Claims | Video
As businesses are encouraged by the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, business leaders across the state are now trying to find ways to really jumpstart the New Jersey economy. Tom Bracken, president and CEO of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, says big hurdles remain. Bracken is proposing that the state provide an additional $ 2 billion in funding for small businesses, using some of the new federal COVID relief funds that have been distributed in New Jersey. He also suggests providing a one-time return-to-work bonus to encourage unemployed people who might be reluctant to return to the labor market. The New Jersey Business & Industry Association also supports incentives for the unemployed as well as small business loans.
The New Jersey real estate boom is not yet over. According to New Jersey Realtors, the number of closed sales jumped more than 33% in April, compared to a year ago when the pandemic cooled the market. So far this year, the median New Jersey home selling price has risen 20% to $ 375,000 as inventories remain low.
Investment returns on the state pension fund have rebounded this year after a gloomy 2020. Preliminary figures for the current fiscal year show yields rose more than 22% through April, well ahead of the assumed rate of return. This is the fund’s best performance since 1998.
Weekly unemployment figures continue to show positive trends. The number of Americans filing new jobless claims has plummeted in the past week, falling to another pre-pandemic low; 406,000 new requests were filed. Fewer New Jersey residents also filed for unemployment in the most recent week, according to a preliminary report on initial claims.
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