News Department

Nearly 1.3M NJ workers have applied for unemployment since mid-March; payouts rise to $8.2B

NEW JERSEY– The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development received 33,000 initial unemployment claims last week, the second uptick in new claims in as many weeks, as the total number of New Jersey workers who have applied for unemployment since mid-March approached 1.3 million.

New Jersey also sent a record $999 million in benefits to claimants last week, and a total of $8.2 billion in federal and state benefits to workers since COVID-19 sidelined much of the state’s workforce.

The Department stood up a new contracted call center last week to augment services provided by existing call center staff. This allows the Labor Department to respond to more phone inquiries and also elevate the claims that need a more experienced agent to resolve.

“Early feedback from our new call center indicates many of the workers who have called have complex wage claims or we are waiting for federally required earnings records from another state or the applicant was denied unemployment benefits but has filed an appeal,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Now that we have front-line agents performing essential intake functions, we have been able to shift more experienced claims agents exclusively to these complex cases.”

“Our goal remains to help as many people through the process of creating an account, applying for benefits, and claiming their weekly benefits as quickly as possible.”

The weekly totals of new unemployment claims are:

March 15 – 21
March 22 – 28 206,253
March 29 – April 4
April 5 – 11 141,420
April 12 – 18
April 19 – 25
April 26 – May 2
May 3 – May 9 69,689
May 10 – 16 42,365
May 17 – 23 34,410
May 24 – 30 26,752
May 31 – June 6 23,166
June 7 – 13 26,392*
June 14 -20 33,004*
TOTAL 1,274,563

*This represents the final number for the week ended June 20. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 32,350 – is based on advanced reporting.

Eligible claimants have received $2.6 billion in state unemployment payments since mid-March and $5.6 billion in federal benefits through the CARES Act.

Below is the weekly breakdown of  payments (in millions):

Week NJ UI Payment FPUC Payment PUA Payment PEUC Payment
March 16 – 20
$47.4 NA NA NA
March 23 – 27 $57.9 NA NA NA
March 30 – April 3
$89.8 NA NA NA
April 6 – 10
$140.7 $154.8 NA NA
April 13 – 17
$179.7 $238.8 NA NA
April 20 – 24
$211.1 $296.3 NA NA
April 27 – May 1
$171.7 $291.1 $27.1 NA
May 2 – May 8 $244.7 $502.4 $51.6 NA
May 10 -16 $239.7 $414.0 $55.6 NA
May 17 – 23 $236.2 $596.9 $112.3 NA
May 24 – 30 $242.7 $553.5 $87.7 NA
May 31 – June 6 $255.5 $635.2 $56.6 $56.6
June 7 – 13 $244.5 $573.8 $60.7 $46.5
June 14 – 20 $248.9 $626.1 $86. $37.4
TOTAL $2,610.5 $4,882.9 $538.2 $140.5

NA: Benefit not applicable during the indicated weeks.

FPUC, PUA and PEUC are federal programs authorized by Congress under the CARES Act. FPUC provides an additional $600 weekly benefit to anyone collecting unemployment for weeks ending April 4 through July 25. PUA provides benefits to newly eligible populations such as self-employed workers, independent contractors and those who do not have enough recent earnings to qualify for regular unemployment benefits, as well as for newly qualifying reasons such as being unable to work because due to caring for others or for their own COVID-19 illness. PEUC provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who have exhausted 26 weeks of state unemployment.

For more information on state or federal unemployment programs, click here and for more information on benefit extensions, click here.

Claimants collecting unemployment must certify for benefits each week to continue to receive payments. Information on certifying for unemployment can be here.

Anyone looking for work is encouraged to visit New Jersey’s jobs portal — — which matches jobseekers with immediate openings in industries such as food distribution, warehousing and health care.For national unemployment data, click here and for archived NJ claims data, click here.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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