Carl GoldbergPublished 6:47 a.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017 | Updated 1:49 p.m. ET Aug. 10, 2017
A new study suggests that New Jersey could expand its economy by $150 billion and create a quarter-million new jobs over the next decade by making a number of policy changes regarding business operations in the state. The report by consulting firm McKinsey says that the state needs to nurture young businesses, improve roads and mass transit options and better tailor incentives to promote growth.
This is correct as far as it goes, but the report barely scratches the surface on why New Jersey is struggling to gain younger businesses and misses a looming economic crisis. The why is best explained by Rutgers professors James Hughes and Joseph Seneca. They write about how New Jersey successfully evolved from an urban manufacturing-based economy to one that made the state an economic success story based on suburbanized information and research-driven employment.
“The baby boom will soon be yesterday’s workforce. Tomorrow’s workforce will be dominated by a new, expansive generation… such young creatives… currently do not find the car-culture suburbs in which they grew up an attractive place to live, work and play,” according to Hughes and Seneca.
“Suddenly, New Jersey’s greatest core advantage in the late twentieth century — a suburban-dominated, automobile dependent economy and lifestyle — is now regarded as a disadvantage,” they add.