Let’s applaud Gov. Phil Murphy for putting job creation on his agenda. The governor signed an executive order establishing a Jobs and Economic Opportunity Council to provide advice and recommendations “for stimulating job growth and workforce development.” It’s hard not to notice, though, the lack of any individuals from the private sector on the council.
Comprised of more than a dozen heads of state departments and other government employees, the council doesn’t include one job creator. It's clear that the insights and experience of leaders of key industries are essential to any exploration aimed at discovering how to promote job growth or workforce development.
New Jersey lagged the country by two years in rebounding from the recession with private-sector job creation, according to the GSI report “Connecticut’s Fiscal Crisis is a Cautionary Tale for New Jersey.” Research by Stephen Eide shows that NJ’s private-sector job recovery did not pass its pre-recession peak (Feb. 2008) until Feb. 2016. The national average for a rebound was March 2014.
The executive order, according to the governor’s office, will “mandate that the Council formulate recommendations related to national and state economic trends, possible government action to expand employment opportunities, sources for infrastructure funding, priorities for federal and state-funded programs, and the development of software technology to improve services for job seekers.”
Given the constrained financial condition of our state, New Jersey needs less federal- and state-funded ideas, and more understanding of what our job creators need to grow right here.