May 16, 2014 | Number of The Day
New Jersey jobless rate, the lowest since 2008

Perhaps it’s in the eye of the beholder. And in the eye of New Jersey’s governor’s office, the newest unemployment rate of 6.9 percent, which was announced Thursday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is pure good news. The rate is the lowest since November 2008, a full year before Chris Christie became governor.

Christie’s office released a statement taking credit for the jobless drop, saying it was due to his choice to invest in job creation. The statement said 6,300 more people joined the labor force in April, including 3,300 in the private sector.

But the liberal think tank New Jersey Policy Perspective said the new numbers only offered the “tiniest reason for optimism,” because the state is in a deep financial hole and will need much stronger economic performance to crawl out of it. According to NJPP, New Jersey has only recovered 40 percent of the jobs it lost during the recession and is still behind its neighbors in terms of a recovery.