The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) received 22,703* new unemployment claims last week, a 12.5 percent increase over the week prior.
For the week ending Sept. 5, NJDOL paid out $298.8 million to eligible claimants. To date, a total of $14.9 billion in federal and state benefits has been distributed to New Jersey workers since mid-March.
Since mid-March, 1.56 million people have applied for unemployment, with 1.36 million meeting the monetary requirements for benefits for an average of $11,439 per claimant. Of those eligible, 96 percent have received payment.
“Our teams have persisted through overwhelming demand to get nearly $15 billion in benefits into the hands of our state’s workers and families, but we know this battle is far from won,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “The pandemic has forced us all to endure tremendous challenges that extend even beyond employment hardships, and we’re doing everything in our power to bring relief to our workers.”
Last week, the Labor Department received approval from FEMA for a grant through the Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance (LWA) program, which provides up to $300 per week for a limited time to eligible individuals, on top of other unemployment benefits they receive. As the implementation of this funding requires new programming to disperse funds, it is anticipated those eligible will be notified in a few weeks when available.
PUA, PEUC and FPUC are federal programs authorized by Congress under the CARES Act. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides benefits through the end of the year; maximum eligibility is 46 weeks, including extended benefits. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. State extended benefits (EB) automatically offers an additional 20 weeks of assistance once PEUC ends. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided $600/week to everyone eligible for unemployment for the weeks of April 4 through July 25. Congress has thus far failed to extend the program.
Anyone looking for work is encouraged to visit New Jersey’s jobs portal — jobs.covid19.nj.gov — which matches jobseekers with immediate openings in industries such as food distribution, warehousing and health care.