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31.9 percent

May 31, 2011

New Jersey corporate leaders are beginning to be slightly more optimistic about the state’s economy: 31.9 percent in a recent survey of 114 CEOs say they plan to increase the number of New Jersey-based employees this year. That is compared with 19.5 percent who say they plan to decrease the number of Garden State employees. The survey, which was conducted by Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public, is known as the C-Suite survey.

Survey respondents also said they thought New Jersey’s economy would get better (59 percent vs. 10.7 percent who thought it would get worse) and that they planned to increase capital spending (31 percent vs. 13.3 percent).

The attitude toward New Jersey as a place to do business also seems to be improving: 75 percent said they thought the state government has become more responsive to the needs of the business community in the past six months. New Jersey was rated an excellent or good place to do business by 15.1 percent of respondents, while 52.2 percent rated it fair and 32.7 rated it poor. Still, those ratings are more positive than the last time the study was conducted in December of 2009.

The idea of New Jersey as a place to expand your business is also on the upswing, with 16.8 percent saying it is excellent or good, as opposed to only 11.1 percent the last time the study was conducted. Still, 52.2 percent said New Jersey was only a fair place to expand, while 31 percent said it was poor.

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