NJ Spotlight, Jan. 30, 2014
The economy is improving. New Jersey has among the country’s best policies aimed at decreasing poverty and increasing opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents. But still, 40.2 percent of New Jerseyans feel they are in a state of persistent financial insecurity, according to a new study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), Washington, D.C.
That’s because many New Jerseyans have little or no savings to cover emergencies or build toward a better life. They are considered “liquid asset poor” — and even one in six households that earn up to $120,000 have less than three months of savings.
Although the numbers seem bleak, they are better than last year’s 44.6 percent. And the state was ranked third in the country for policies aimed at solving the problem for low- and moderate-income families.
The study ranked each state according to policies aimed at healthcare, education, housing and homeownership, business and jobs, and financial assets and income. New Jersey scored first in the country for healthcare and education. It’s ranking for housing and homeownership was 19th, primarily due to the high foreclosure rate and policies to solve it. The state was ranked third for business and jobs policies, mostly due to an increase in the federal minimum wage. And the Garden State ranked ninth when it came to policies related to financial assets and income.