New Jersey attracts life science workers from across the nation with its access to culture, entertainment, economic and transportation centers like Philadelphia and New York City, close proximity to our nation's capital and a wealth of opportunities in the biotechnology industry. The number of biotechnology employees in New Jersey jumped 25% from 6,000 to 8,000 in recent years and New Jersey houses 124 biotechnology companies, making it the fourth-largest biotechnology center in the nation. The New Jersey pharmaceutical and medical technology industry supports 166,000 jobs in New Jersey and the region also attracts employees due to its high standard of living. The average biotechnology worker in New Jersey earns $83,300 and the median household income in New Jersey is the second highest in the nation. Coupled with pharmaceutical employees, New Jersey is home to a total of approximately 175,000 employees in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology field.
New Jersey's economy flourishes by offering a variety of occupational options in the high-tech, research, trade, industry, service and government fields. Service industries are an important part of the New Jersey economy. Many of the state's residents are employed in the education, health care and retail trade fields. The leading service industries are finance, insurance and real estate. The unemployment rate remains low despite the economic recession throughout the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in New Jersey in September of 2001 was 4.5%.
With such great economic opportunities, New Jersey's standard of living is high. The median household income for the state was $49,297 in 1998, the second highest per capita income in the nation. New Jersey residents choose from a full range of housing options from country houses on acreages to historic urban brownstones and from small, quiet neighborhoods to historic colonial and Victorian era towns.