Business Report: Economy contracts, state pension returns climb, SALT cap, PPP loans

In NJ, there was a slight decrease in the number of new jobless claims filed in the last week

Last year was the worst year for the U.S. economy since 1946. The economy contracted by 3.5% in 2020 as pandemic-related closings had a wide impact. The economy rebounded somewhat in the last few months of 2020, but the job market is still struggling to bounce back. Each week hundreds of thousands of workers across the U.S. are filing new unemployment claims. But in New Jersey, there was a slight decrease in the number of new jobless claims filed in the last week.

Thanks in part to a booming stock market, New Jersey’s public-worker pension fund has seen big returns on its investments so far this year. Returns at the halfway point of the current fiscal year are running at almost 15%, according to preliminary figures from the State Investment Council. That’s well above the pension system’s assumed rate of return of 7.3%.

New Jersey’s congressional delegation is fighting to overturn the cap on state and local tax deductions. The representatives are asking that a repeal of the SALT cap be included in the next COVID-19 relief bill. Work on that bill could begin as early as next week.

The Small Business Administration has approved nearly 8,600 new PPP loans for New Jersey businesses, worth over $916 million. More than 400,000 loans have been approved nationwide since the PPP program reopened this month. The average loan, according to the SBA, is $87,000.

We’re in this together
For a better-informed future. Support our nonprofit newsroom.
Donate to NJ Spotlight