Economists and other members of New Jersey’s business community say many factors are to blame for the state’s stubbornly high unemployment rate. They cite Governor Chris Christie’s cuts to public sector jobs, increased competition to Atlantic City’s gaming business, a higher percentage of unemployed people still looking for work, and, most recently, the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy.

New Jersey’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has been 9 percent or higher since June 2009, peaking in August 2012 at 9.9 percent—the highest since 1977.

Labor and employment attorney Steven W. Suflas said that in addition to Governor Christie’s sweeping cuts of state jobs, a new state law that limits how much municipal budgets can increase each year is having an effect on public sector employment.

“Municipalities know they would have trouble raising taxes, so they are forced to cut employees,” said Mr. Suflas, Managing Partner of Ballard Spahr’s New Jersey office. He also noted that manufacturing jobs have shrunk.

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