New Jersey manufacturers and consumers are feeling the effects of a recession that has knocked off some $2 trillion in GDP.
The economic impact of the recession in New Jersey has been even worse than New York’s.
But with the economy growing again, there are signs that the state is picking up the pieces.
A survey released Tuesday from the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce and Industry found that consumers are spending more than they did in the first quarter of 2017, after an 11-month lull in spending.
The report, which surveyed 1,100 New Jersey businesses, said the share of business owners who said they are seeing increased sales is up 11.3 percent from the first six months of the year.
In fact, the average number of business visits from consumers in the state has gone up a whopping 7.5 percent.
The Chamber said that in the last year, there has been a 1.6 percent rise in visits from visitors from overseas, a 5.3% increase in visits to online retailers, and an 18.6% increase on business visits to restaurants.
While there are plenty of signs that business owners are picking up where they left off in the recession, the report also said that business spending may be slowing in some areas.
“We continue to see the effects, but we’re seeing a lot of businesses that are struggling,” said Tim O’Connell, president and CEO of the chamber.
New Jersey’s economy shrank by 0.7 percent in the third quarter, after shrinking by 0% in the second quarter.
This was the worst showing for the state since the depths of the Great Recession.
“There is no question that New Jersey is experiencing some pain right now,” O’Connor said.
“The good news is that we’re getting through this, and we are making some gains.”
A lot of this is due to a drop in the number of manufacturing jobs in the New York area, where manufacturing employment has been shrinking for decades.
In the second half of 2017 alone, New York lost more than 8,000 manufacturing jobs, and manufacturing workers lost jobs in New York State at a rate of 1.4%.
The manufacturing job loss in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where New Jersey was located, was even worse.
It lost 2,600 manufacturing jobs between March and June, and was down about 4,600 in the same period in New Hampshire.
The economy also was affected by the closure of the Chrysler plant in Delaware.
This month, the New Hampshire Economic Development Authority reported that its workforce was down 4.4 percent in May and June from a year earlier, after a 3.2 percent drop in April.
O’Sullivan said that while the number and severity of the economic impacts are being felt, there is a “sense of optimism.”
“The fact that there are fewer factories is going to be a positive for our economy,” he said.
And there are a number of positives.
“A lot of the manufacturing that has been lost is in the Midwest, where it’s coming from,” he added.
“It’s coming back, and it’s been done.”
O’Brien said that a good example of the good things happening is a new manufacturing plant that has opened in Newark.
The state government said that it will help build a manufacturing facility to support the city’s burgeoning food and beverage sector, as well as manufacturing and construction.