Economic Trends April 2021

2020 Economic Review: An Annual Review of New Jersey’s Economy

ISSUE 1 | APRIL 2021

2020 was a year unlike any other we’ve experienced during our lifetime. The novel coronavirus pandemic caused havoc on New Jersey’s public health and economy. The pandemic caused government-mandated, nonessential business closures and stay-at-home orders that were in effect from mid-March to mid-June 2020 in the Garden State with many businesses continuing to operate at restricted capacity through year end.

➢ This resulted in record high unemployment rates and record contraction in GDP.

➢ Small businesses were devastated and many were forced to shut their doors, either temporarily or permanently.

➢ Early data indicates that the pandemic had a disproportional impact on minority workers and workers of color.

➢ In total, over 1.9 million people filed unemployment claims and received more than $20 billion in unemployment benefits.

➢ Personal income increased despite record high unemployment, due to state unemployment benefits, extended benefits, and federal stimulus monies.

The goal of this research is to provide readers with a detailed review of key statistics on New Jersey’s economic activity, otherwise known as economic indicators. These indicators help to judge the overall health of an economy. Many sources have yet to report 2020 data, including the U.S. Census Bureau. As such, this is a working document that will be modified to include statistics relating to race, gender and households when updated data becomes available.

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