Government job cuts hamper N.J. recovery, policy analyst says

A liberal research group based in Trenton claims public-sector job losses are slowing New Jersey’s recovery from the recession.

If government jobs at the state and local level were not reduced in response to budget concerns, New Jersey’s unemployment rate would have been a full percentage point lower last year, says Ray Castro, senior policy analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective.

“Last year, over half the gains in private jobs were offset by reductions in public-sector jobs, and we just won’t make any progress if we continue to do that,” he said Wednesday.

Castro maintains cuts to the public sector contribute to the shrinking of the middle class and increase income inequality.

A spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie calls the group’s findings “partisan blather.” He says Christie’s actions to rein in government spending are leading to a more pro-growth economic climate.

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