News Department

Unemployment payments to NJ workers exceed $9B

NEW JERSEY – State and federal payments to unemployed and underemployed New Jersey workers have surpassed $9 billion since mid-March, when businesses and schools abruptly shut down due to health concerns brought about by COVID-19.

Last week, New Jersey saw nearly 28,000 initial unemployment claims – a 15 percent decrease from the prior week –as the total number of new claims climbed to 1.3 million in the past 15 weeks. Of those who have applied, 1,125,021 have met the earnings requirements to receive benefits, and 96 percent of those have received payment.

The Labor Department announced this week it would begin providing 20 weeks of extended unemployment to New Jersey workers who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits.

The state extension kicks in after claimants exhaust up to 26 weeks of state unemployment plus 13 weeks of federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). The additional 20 weeks brings to 59 the maximum number of weeks of benefits an eligible claimant may receive at this time.

Claimants are automatically enrolled into extended benefits as their federal extension ends. They do not need to contact an agent or reapply.

“New Jersey went from being at almost full employment last winter to double-digit unemployment a few months later,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “Extended benefits are in place for just such eventualities – so that claimants have access to an income safety net for an extended period during times of high unemployment.”

The weekly totals of new unemployment claims are:

March 15 – 21
155,815
March 22 – 28 206,253
March 29 – April 4
214,836
April 5 – 11 141,420
April 12 – 18
140,139
April 19 – 25
71,996
April 26 – May 2
83,326
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*
June 21 – 27 27,965*
TOTAL 1,302,528

*This represents the final number for the week ended June 27. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 27,088 – is based on advanced reporting.  

Eligible claimants have received $2.9 billion in state unemployment payments since mid-March and $6.2 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 $86.6 $37.4
June 21 – 27 $240.4 $559.7 $73.5 $31.7
TOTAL $2,850.9 $5,442.6 $611.7 $172.2

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 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. For archived NJ claims data, click here.

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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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