(CNSNews.com) - As Cory Booker enters the United States Senate to fill the unexpired term of Frank Lautenberg, he leaves the city of Newark, N.J., behind with a rising unemployment rate, as well as a crime rate well above the national average.
Booker won a special election on Oct. 16 to fill the seat of longtime Sen. Frank Launtenberg, who died earlier this year. The seat in the interim had been filled by Republican Jeff Chiesa, who had previously served as New Jersey attorney general. Booker was sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
During Booker’s term as mayor, unemployment in Newark has increased by 102 percent. In 2006, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, and in 2012, the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.
The average rate of unemployment in the months from January 2013 to August 2013 was 8.8 percent. In the years prior to Booker taking office, unemployment rates were significantly lower in 2003 to 2005 at six percent, five percent, and 4.5 percent respectively.
New Jersey also ranks as one of the states with the worst tax climate, according to data from the Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index. States that rank in the bottom 10 suffer from “complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.” New Jersey currently ranks 49th.
Crime rates have slightly increased since Booker took office in 2006. City-data.com defines the crime rate this way, the “crime rate counts serious crimes and violent crime more heavily. It adjusts for the number of visitors and daily workers commuting into cities.”
In 2006, the crime rate was 593.8. The latest data, taken in 2011, shows that the crime rate increased to 604.0, while the U.S. average stands at 307.5. The previous year, Booker laid off 167 police officers in 2010 in order to close an $83 million budget gap.