N.J. recovery expected to trail national growth

    New Jersey’s recovery from the recession could take longer than the rest of the nation, economic experts say.

    Rutgers Economic Advisory Service director Nancy Mantell anticipates the nation will get back the jobs lost during the recession by 2014, two years ahead of New Jersey.

    “Lots of regulations” are part of the reason economic growth in the Garden State lags behind the national recovery, she said.

    “Admittedly, the state is trying to do something about that,” Mantell said. “And one of the things that’s been recovering nationally has been manufacturing. New Jersey just doesn’t have much manufacturing.”

    Mantell said declines in public sector employment because of budget constraints will also slow the state’s recovery. She said she expects the most growth will be in professional and business services.

    James Hughes, the dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, agreed that job growth in New Jersey could be a couple of years behind the rest of the nation.

    “The negative is manufacturing. We are now underrepresented in manufacturing within the nation,” he said. “It’s hard to see any one sector outside of health services where we can predict it’s going to really outperform the rest of the economy as a whole.”

    Hughes, who said budget constraints will continue to result in job losses in the public sector, pointed to growth in health-care services as one of the bright spots in New Jersey’s economy.

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