New Jersey’s GDP Projected to Slow Slightly in 2024, and Unemployment Expected to Remain High, New Jersey State Policy Lab’s Economic Forecast Finds

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton
(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) – GDP growth in New Jersey is projected to slow to 1.4% in 2024 on the heels of stronger-than-expected GDP growth in 2023, according to a new economic report from the New Jersey State Policy Lab. High interest rates have yet to temper climbing prices for new and existing homes, with sales of existing homes down on a year-over-year basis as of Q4 2023.
The Summer 2024 R/ECON Forecast also shows that the state’s employment picture for 2024 has improved, showing stronger gains in 2023 than originally reported, but the elevated unemployment rate is expected to persist as employment growth slows over the next year. New Jersey’s state population rebounded in 2023 after three years of decline, returning to its 2020 level, and is projected to continue a pattern of slow growth.
“While New Jersey’s unemployment rate (4.8%) remains among the highest in the nation, most of its rapid increase had ended by the middle of 2023,” explained Will Irving, author of the economics forecast report and associate professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. “Other states in the country are now starting to see rapidly increasing unemployment rates, with 13 states seeing increases from 0.7 to 1.4 percentage points from April 2023 to April 2024, compared with 0.6 points in New Jersey.”
The Summer 2024 R/ECON Forecast for New Jersey utilizes the Moody’s national forecast as of May 2023, along with New Jersey quarterly GDP and personal income data through Q4 2023, and state employment and unemployment data through Q1 2024. The Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON) was created with the mission to improve the quality and accessibility of tools for economic forecasting and policy simulation. With the support of the New Jersey State Policy Lab, R/ECON employs a comprehensive set of tools to provide accurate and timely assessments of the New Jersey economy.
About the New Jersey State Policy Lab: The NJSPL assists the state of New Jersey and its many communities in the design, implementation, and evaluation of state policies and programs by conducting rigorous evidence-based research that considers equity, efficiency, and efficacy of public policies and programs in holistic and innovative ways. The Lab is run as a partnership between the Edward J. Bloustein School of Public Policy in Rutgers-New Brunswick and the School of Public Affairs and Administration in Rutgers-Newark. The Policy Lab is funded by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education (OSHE). The contents of this report do not necessarily represent the policy or endorsement of OSHE or the State of New Jersey.
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