States throughout the country are continuing to deal with the ramifications of long-term unemployment, with many residents spending several months without consistent work. New Jersey is one of the states that has been hit hardest by this trend.

For example, Atlantic County's rate stands at 13.2 percent, while Cumberland's is 13.6 and Cape May is 15.2 percent, the Press of Atlantic City reports. These rates are higher than the national average of 8.1 percent,though there have been some positive signs in certain hard-hit areas. The source reports that Cape May County leads the entire nation when it comes to the number of jobs added in the first three months of 2012, compared to last year.    

Lawmakers are continuing to search for answers regarding ways to improve employment. Some have raised concerns when it comes to the amount of money public sector workers are receiving. According to an investigation by the State Commission of Investigation, goverment workers were given $30 million in taxpayer money between 2006 and 2011 in paid leave.

A spokesman for Governor Chris Christie said that the state was being hurt by the payouts.

“This shady, often-hidden public subsidy of union leave from paid public employment costs us all millions every year and must end,” said spokesman, Michael Drewniak according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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