Business Report: Unemployment rate falls, new Amazon center for Rutherford, lemonade stand legislation

U.S. unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May but inequity remains as the jobless rates for Blacks and Hispanics are higher

Unemployment has now fallen to its lowest level since the pandemic forced businesses to shut down in March of last year. The nation’s unemployment rate fell to 5.8% in May but inequity remains as the jobless rates for Blacks and Hispanics are higher. The national unemployment rate is lower than New Jersey’s rate, which was 7.5% as of April. Still, ADP Chief Economist Nela Richardson is encouraged by the numbers. The government’s monthly jobs report showed hundreds of thousands of new jobs were added to the economy, and came after New Jersey-based ADP’s report also showed strong gains.

Amazon will be creating hundreds of additional jobs in New Jersey once its newest distribution center opens. That center will be located in Rutherford; construction is set to be completed next year. It’s one of several planned expansion projects that Amazon is undertaking here.

Lawmakers are considering a plan to potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s pension contribution for the next fiscal year, according to Politico New Jersey. Under Gov. Phil Murphy’s proposed budget, the state would contribute $6.4 billion to the pension fund in the new year. But given the fact that the state has billions in new federal COVID-19 money, some lawmakers say increasing pension funding is an option worth exploring.

The state Senate has given final legislative approval to the so-called Lemonade Stand bill. It would allow children to run temporary businesses like lemonade stands without needing municipal permits. The bill came about after stories of kids’ lemonade stands being shut down because they lacked permits. The bill is now on Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.

WATCH: Business Report: Hiring rebound, federal aid for Plainfield, JCP&L customers could see bigger bills

MORE: Business Report: PPP loan program ends, incentives for housing developers, NJ hospitals donate supplies to India

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