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(TRENTON) – Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo and Assembly Budget Chairman Lou Greenwald on Thursday said they were astounded to see Gov. Chris Christie essentially declaring “Mission Accomplished” with New Jersey unemployment still hovering at 9.2 percent.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Christie crowed about policies that have left the state with 9.2 percent unemployment.
This came after Assembly Republican Leader Alex DeCroce on Tuesday said the state’s unemployment benefits “are too good for these people.”
“It’s unreal that Gov. Christie would basically declare “Mission Accomplished’ with more than 412,000 residents still looking for work,” said Greenwald (D-Camden). “If nothing else, this is even more proof about how far removed this governor and his allies are with working class New Jerseyans. First we have one of their leaders claiming unemployed people are living the good life. Now we have their governor bragging about 9.2 percent unemployment.”
“The governor’s claims that he has fixed our economy fail the simple test of basic economics,” said Sarlo (D-Bergen/Essex/Passaic). “Nearly one-in-eleven residents still have no job. And thousands more have given up finding work entirely and have just left the job market altogether. The governor can claim ‘Mission Accomplished’ in curing unemployment about as much as Alex DeCroce can claim to care about the unemployed.”
Greenwald and Sarlo noted how Patrick O’Keefe, a former Reagan administration labor official and director of economic research at J.H. Cohn, told the newspaper, “We have yet to achieve traction in New Jersey, We simply do not see the type of increase in number of jobs or in hours that would suggest that there is an expansion going on in New Jersey’s economy.”
“I would love to know where exactly this economic miracle is happening,” said Sarlo. “I still know people in my district who have no jobs. I still see empty storefronts. I still read about major employers in my district laying off workers. Maybe things are great in Mendham were the governor lives, or at the State House where unemployment among Republicans is zero, but in the real New Jersey people are still afraid that their next paycheck could be their last.”
“Gov. Christie is the only one living in this dream world in which the state economy is soaring,” Greenwald said. “Millionaires are enjoying their Republican tax cut, but everyone else is getting pounded by Christie tax increases. That’s not a recipe for economic success. That’s a recipe for economic disaster. The governor would do better to cooperatively join our job creation and economic development effort.”
For additional reading:
“Apology not accepted: DeCroce’s unemployment comments show he’s clueless”

“Elitism, ignorance behind proposal to reduce jobless benefits”