News Department

Weekly unemployment claims jump 70% as furloughs start, school year ends

NEW JERSEY – More than 47,000 New Jersey workers filed initial unemployment claims during the week ending July 4, a 70 percent jump from the prior week, with two employee groups – furloughed state workers and those laid off when the school year ended in June – making up much of the spike.

Last week’s initial claim total is the highest number of single-week applicants the Department of Labor and Workforce Development has recorded in eight weeks. During the week ending May 9, nearly 70,000 initial claims were filed.

The department sent $843 million into the hands of claimants during a week that was shortened because of the July 4 holiday. Total payments reaching New Jersey workers topped $9.9 billion since mid-March.

“The number of people in need is staggering. We’ve had 1.35 million applicants since mid March; 1.2 million of them have met the earnings requirements to receive benefits, with 96 percent of them having received payment. We won’t let up until every claim has received a determination, every question has been answered and every claimant has been served,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said.

Also last week, the Labor Department began offering 20 weeks of extended unemployment to New Jersey workers who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits, bringing to 59 the maximum number of weeks of benefits eligible claimants may receive. Claimants are automatically enrolled into extended benefits as their federal extension ends. They do not need to contact an agent or reapply.

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
June 28 – July 4 47,391*
TOTAL 1,349,919

*This represents the final number for the week ended July 4. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 46,684 – is based on advanced reporting. 

Eligible claimants have received $3 billion in state unemployment payments since mid-March and $6.9 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
June 28 – July 4 $202.9 $536.1 $71.7 $31.8
TOTAL $3,053.8 $5,978.7 $683.4 $204

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 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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