Unemployment, Food Stamp Usage, Crime Statistics Among New Indicators in Latest New Jersey Data Book

Image of New Jersey Legislative District Data Book cover

NEW BRUNSWICK – New Jersey’s unemployment rate may have hovered around an uncomfortable 9.5 percent in 2012, but many municipalities across the state – even in affluent Morris County –were reeling more harshly with double digit jobless figures, according to the latest edition of the New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, published this month by Rutgers’ Center for Government Services (CGS).

These figures, along with new data on preschool population, food assistance (SNAP), and crime in New Jersey’s 565 municipalities, help to paint a more detailed picture of the state, its residents, and the economy, according to CGS Director Alan Zalkind.

“In addition to comprehensive information that has always been part of the Data Book, we have added new indicators that enable us to analyze and compare New Jersey’s municipalities in more detail, particularly in areas like SNAP participation and employment, to better understand the impact of economic forces,” Zalkind said    

Used by legislators, municipal officials, advocacy groups, researchers and the media, the Data Book is one of the most comprehensive sources of official New Jersey data and information published in the state.

The 38th edition of the New Jersey Legislative District Data Book has other notable changes. The print edition is now organized by county and municipality.  If preferred, the Data Book can also be ordered in electronic format. The CD-version includes Excel spreadsheets, enabling the data to be manipulated for analysis.

Special orders for data organized by Legislative District in CD format also are being accepted.

As in past editions, the 2013 Legislative District Data Book features official population and demographic figures, and statistics on voter turnout, property taxes, school performance and fiscal resources.

Ernest Reock Jr., former director of CGS, conceived the Data Book in the 1970s when New Jersey increased and redrew its formerly county-based legislative districts. The publication was first issued in 1976 by the-then Bureau of Government Research at Rutgers. Though he officially retired in 1992 after 42 years with Rutgers as a professor and administrator, Reock continues as one of the book’s primary researchers. 

Plans are underway to publish the Data Book as an interactive, online database available to wider audiences.

“Access to public information is a fundamental component of our democracy. Having this data more widely available makes for a better informed and more involved citizenry,” Zalkind said.

The 2013 Data Book can be ordered in print for $100 per copy or in electronic format for $250. To order online, go to http://cgs.rutgers.edu/publications. For more information, call (732) 932-3640, ext. 628, or email mjlush@docs.rutgers.edu.

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