NEW JERSEY – Senator Anthony M. Bucco said Governor Phil Murphy’s continued mismanagement of New Jersey’s unemployment insurance system is hurting both workers and businesses that are struggling to recover.
“We have this perverse situation where unemployed workers with families still can’t get their benefits approved by the Murphy administration, while freeloaders who could go back to work continue to get checks they no longer deserve,” Bucco (R-25) said. “I still have constituents who have been waiting months for their claims to be approved, and I have a growing number of businesses telling me that workers would rather stay on unemployment than return to work. On both sides of the equation, the Murphy administration is at fault.”
Regarding workers with legitimate claims pending, Bucco said many have been stuck in limbo for months while trying unsuccessfully to resolve issues over the phone or online without access to walk-in unemployment centers that Governor Murphy still hasn’t reopened.
“Now that the CDC has said vaccinated workers face little risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19 and don’t need to social distance, Governor Murphy has absolutely no excuse to keep walk-in unemployment centers closed,” Bucco said. “He should open them immediately to serve people who have been failed by the unemployment system for too long.”
Regarding individuals who are collecting unemployment benefits and refuse to return to work, Bucco said the Murphy administration isn’t doing enough to enforce requirements that workers must accept a suitable job if it is offered to them.
“Governor Murphy can reduce the burden on the unemployment system by enforcing work requirements that no longer should be ignored,” Bucco said. “That would help legitimate claims get considered faster and address the growing labor shortage that is slowing the pace of New Jersey’s economic recovery.”