The unemployment rate in New Jersey was 6.1 percent in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is not quite the state's April 2007 rate of 4.2 percent, but neither is it the 9.8 percent reported in November 2009. We are heading in the right direction -- maybe.
The problem with low unemployment rates is that businesses have more competition for skilled workers, which in turn translates into higher recruiting and retention costs -- and that includes higher wages. A higher unemployment rate makes it a buyer's market, an advantage to businesses who are hoping to pay workers less or to hire workers for short-term assignments.