This thriving region centers on sprawling Rutgers University and its top-notch programs in business, science and technology. Among the big players here: Johnson & Johnson, AT&T and Lucent.
What's putting central Jersey on the map? We asked John Harrington, business editor of the local daily Home News Tribune.
Why it's hot: "The confluence of large companies, major educational institutions and affluence--New Jersey's per-capita income is the nation's second highest," says Harrington.
What's not so hot: "The cost of living is a major problem," Harrington says. Real estate is among the nation's priciest; traffic jams are legendary.
Hot networking spot: Newark International Airport (in neighboring Essex County), where high-fliers meet, especially in the Continental Airlines' Presidents Club.
Power eats: At Clyde's and Teresa's, both in New Brunswick, conversations revolve around making money.