GDP figures show manufacturing in N.J. has made strong strides

Most of the huge plants are gone — but that doesn’t mean manufacturing in New Jersey is down and out. In fact, Gross Domestic Product figures from the past four years show the state is doing far better than most.

New Jersey’s manufacturing output grew at a 5.8% annualized pace between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2021 — figures that rank the state as the seventh-best in the country.

The state far exceeded the national growth rate of 2.6% during the period.

John Kennedy. (File photos)

John Kennedy, the CEO of the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, was pleased to hear the numbers.

“Manufacturing remains the core of a healthy economy — in the USA, and in New Jersey,” he said.

Kennedy said the state has a lot going for it, but he warned that the state’s leaders cannot be complacent.

“We have tremendous capabilities in this area, both historically and today,” he said. “We have made many gains, but, while we continue our economic recovery from the pandemic, we must remember to invest and engage the industry in a positive way.

“We look forward to being a vital component on many programs, including off-shore wind.”

Tim Sullivan.

Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, said the state is all-in on the sector.

“The strength of the New Jersey manufacturing sector has been a huge contributor to the state’s economic momentum during Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s administration,” he said. “And, with major investments underway, like the New Jersey Wind Port and Hax in Newark, the future of manufacturing in New Jersey is bright.”