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Census data show poverty up, incomes down as NJ economic recovery lags


Census data show poverty up, incomes down as NJ economic recovery lags


Despite a growing national economy, New Jersey’s weak job market led to lower incomes and a higher poverty rate in the state last year, the Census Bureau said Wednesday. Bergen and Passaic counties were hit especially hard.

Wide disparities

Households in North Jersey generally lost ground financially in 2013, while those in and around New York City fared better.

Median household incomes:

New Jersey

Bergen County: down 2.7 percent

Passaic County: down 1.7 percent

Hudson County: down 3.9 percent

Morris County: up 3.6 percent

New York

Manhattan: up 6 percent

Brooklyn: up 3.6 percent

Staten Island: down 3.3 percent

Nassau: up 1.7 percent

Westchester County: up 7.4 percent

The recession ended in 2009, but a wide range of census measures showed New Jersey was still feeling its effects in 2013. Food stamp use rose; the homeownership rate dropped. Families were more likely to delay having children or decide against paying private-school tuition.

Although one year’s census figures do not indicate a trend, New Jersey’s numbers have generally been tracking in the same direction since the recession. Offering some hope for a better 2014 in New Jersey, experts say a recent drop in unemployment, as well as a higher minimum wage, could mean that incomes have started to rise, and poverty rates to fall, this year.

But in 2013, median household incomes in New Jersey, adjusted for inflation, dropped by 0.7 percent, to an estimated $70,165, mirroring similar declines in surrounding states. New Jersey incomes, after inflation, have dropped 9 percent since 2000, and 6.8 percent from 2007, right before the recession hit.

Nationally, household incomes were essentially flat last year, at about $52,000.

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4 thoughts on “Census data show poverty up, incomes down as NJ economic recovery lags

  1. Median Bergen County household INCOMES were -2.7% in 2013
    vs comparable Westchester County +7.4%. But that’s just
    income. Most private sector workers also pay for medical insurance
    out of wages – costs for which are RISING – and make defined
    contributions to retirement savings plans, so disposable income
    is SHRINKING. But NOT for public sector workers; Ridgewood public safety employees see +4% annual wage growth, on top of step wage increases, plus a max limit on medical co-payment for insurance of $480/year, with increases in premium borne entirely by the Village. Add four personal days and up to 30 vacation days/year, up to 10% longevity pay, and up to 6 months of accumulated sick leave paid at the daily rate of compensation at time of retirement (i.e. not at the rate at which the sick leave was awarded), and there’s NO doubt. Public sector wage & benefit growth is crushing households in Bergen County.

  2. The average property tax per household is $16,179.00.

    The total amount of tax paid per average household for Police, Fire and EMS Professionals is: $1,241.00 ($3.40 per day)

    County and School Tax: $101,472,248.00

    Municipal Tax: $33,324,376.00

  3. That’s no excuse for public safety wages + benefits growing > 4% a year when inflation is running well below 2% and median Bergen County household incomes DECLINED -2.7% in 2013… Wages + benefits for public safety in Ridgewood are growing more than TWICE as fast as inflation and have been since 2009. That’s wrong.

  4. Hogwash #2. According to we’re paying $17.8MN for police & fire service this year, plus $900K for insurance/workers’ comp. Add in the $6.6MN in unfunded accumulated leave retirement payouts, an 11.8% YoY increase in group health insurance paid for by the Village, not the employees, and the fact that public safety wage increases accounted for more than half of the +$900K annual total salary increase for the Village, and the story becomes much clearer. Just those figures add up to $25 million, or 54% of the total annual budget. That’s $2,183/average household a year based on municipal portion of taxes per average residential home at $3,959 in 2014. But that’s not the end of it, because taxpayers are also liable for pension and healthcare benefits for life for these same employees WHEN THEY RETIRE, and the present day cost of providing those future benefits is IN THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. But you ignored that FACT, didn’t you #2 ?

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