NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development again last week reported a record number of beneficiaries and historic unemployment payments, even as the number of new weekly applications fell for the fifth straight week.
The number of individuals who claimed weekly benefits between March 15 and June 6 was 1,021,339, by far the largest volume of claimants the state Labor Department has ever served in such a short period of time. Of those, 94 percent have received payment, with an average weekly benefit of $1,050.
During the same 12-week period, $6.25 billion in federal and state benefits has gone out the door and into the pockets of unemployed and underemployed New Jersey workers.
“On the one hand, we have achieved so many milestones since COVID-19 shuttered our workforce – serving more than 1 million claimants and getting three new federal benefits programs up and running while paying record numbers of our traditional unemployment claims. On the other hand, there is so much more to do to ensure that every claimant gets their questions answered and receives their benefits in a timely fashion,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “As we begin to reopen our economy, and workers return to their jobs, I hope we learn from this pandemic to work with our federal partners to fortify our systems ahead of the next emergency.”
For the week ending June 6, the Department received 23,166 new unemployment claims, a 13 percent decrease from the prior week, for a total of 1.2 million new claims since mid-March.
Additionally, all 70,000 or so workers who had exhausted their benefits have been notified by email or text message to certify for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 weeks of additional benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Roughly 37,000 have claimed benefits to date.
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*|
*This represents the final number for the week ended June 6. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 22,621 – is based on advanced reporting.
Eligible claimants have received $2.1 billion in state unemployment payments since mid-March, $3.7 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments, $391 million in PUA payments, and $57 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
Below is the weekly breakdown of payments (in millions):
|Week||NJ UI Payment||FPUC Payment||PUA Payment||PEUC Payment|
|March 16 – 20
|March 23 – 27||$57.9||NA||NA||NA|
|March 30 – April 3
|April 6 – 10
|April 13 – 17
|April 20 – 24
|April 27 – May 1
|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|
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.
Claimants collecting unemployment must certify for benefits each week to continue to receive payments. Information on certifying for unemployment can be found here.
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. For national unemployment data, click here and for archived NJ claims data, click here.