EFFICIENCY GAINS: AN ARGUMENT FOR A COMPRESSED WORKWEEK FOR NEW JERSEY’S PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

Author: 

Kyle Vellutato

It is time for New Jersey’s leaders to think outside of the box. Like most every other state in the union, New Jersey is not immune to the harsh effects of the recent economic crisis. For the fiscal year of 2011, New Jersey faces nearly a $10 billion budget deficit and a mid-year budget gap of more than $2 billion, which is among the highest in the United States. According to a December 2009 report by the Economics Group of Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, New Jersey’s unemployment rate has more than doubled since January 2008, currently standing at 9.7%. As a result of continuing high unemployment, economists predict decreased state income tax receipts and increased demand for state services, which will ultimately make it more difficult for the state to close its budget gap. Further, because state fiscal problems have historically lagged national recessions, it is likely that New Jersey’s budget deficit will continue into 2012 or beyond. It logically follows then that eliminating state services entirely, thereby terminating state employees, may reduce budget forecasts in the short run, but will only create greater demand for state aid among New Jersey citizens. If history is an accurate indicator, it is clear that the Garden State is in desperate need of a solution to its budget woes. View More