BY BOB HOLT
New Jersey’s high cost of living became an issue once again as Hertz announced its plans to become the latest company to leave the state.
The company will be taking about 550 jobs from its corporate offices in Park Ridge to a new headquarters in Estero, Florida.
Up to 700 jobs will be relocated to Florida over a two-year period, according to USA Today. The company chose to move to Lee County after a nine-month selection process.
They thought of 19 million reasons to move there: Hertz received a $19 million economic stimulus offer from Lee County.
A Hertz news release mentioned that the company acquired rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in November. They are currently headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and will also be relocating.
More than 2,000 Hertz and Dollar Thrifty workers will be staying in New Jersey, including about 150 from Park Ridge. The rest of the Park Ridge employees can keep their current jobs in the new Florida operations. Hertz had held its headquarters in New Jersey since 1988.
Hertz spokesman Richard Broome said Florida's cost of living played a large part in the relocation. “The cost of living differential between Tulsa and New Jersey is 35 percent to 40 percent," he noted, according to NorthJersey.com.
It turns out that New Jersey has come in first in a United Van Lines survey about states with the highest ratio of people moving out compared to those moving into for 2012. Sixty-two percent of moves in the state were leaving it.
“New Jersey has been suffering from deindustrialization for some time now, as manufacturing moved from the Northeast to the South and West,” says economist Michael Stoll, according to Forbes. “And because it’s tied to New York, the high housing costs may also be pushing people out.”