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new jersey department of environmental protection  


Living with the Future in Mind
Goals and Indicators for New Jersey's Quality of Life
First Annual Update to the Sustainable State Project Report 2000

Indicator 3

Additional  Economic Vitality Indicators

1 - Income

2 - Unemployment

4 - Poverty cyclical

5 - Gross State Product (GSP) increasing

6 - Energy efficiency increasing


The amount of Gross State Product produced per worker: Increasing

  Things to think about

Increases in productivity can, in some cases, concentrate the jobs of many workers into a single well-paying job.

The more that we are able to produce, the more important it becomes that we make careful choices about which products we make and about how cleanly and safely we make them. Otherwise, our high productivity can work against our environmental goals.


Higher productivity means getting more output from the same amount of work. It can let us enjoy more fruits from the same amount of labor, and to live better, with more time to spend with our families and for recreation. Productivity has increased during most of the last 20 years.


Rising productivity is key to a healthy business sector in New Jersey. It increases profits and keeps companies competitive in global markets. It can also lead to higher wages and living standards for New Jersey’s workers - although many people feel that they still work as long and hard as ever.


A measure of productivity that currently is not available would be how much we can produce from the materials that we use. As our "environmental productivity" rises, we can put less of a burden on natural resources while producing just as much. This is one of the most powerful ways we have to protect nature.


Through higher productivity, we can win the opportunity to live well materially while still having time to spend with our families and communities. Doing so could strengthen the social condition of our state. Not all people get this opportunity or make this choice – but high productivity presents the possibility.

Knowledge Gaps

This measure considers only how much we produce, but not what we produce or whether we cause harm when we produce it. It doesn’t consider, for example, increases in pollution that come with increased production or increases in the energy or natural resources consumed. A better measure would adjust for those costs and would account for the fact that not all productivity gains are beneficial.

Note: See the Technical Appendix for information on use of a different data source than the source used in the 1999 Sustainable State Project Report.

Data Sources: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and NJ Department of Labor

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 25, 2007

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