News Department

Weekly unemployment compensation plummets after federal supplement expires

NEW JERSEY – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development paid out $316 million in unemployment benefits for the week ending Aug. 22, a sharp decline in the weekly payment total because of the expiration of the $600 weekly supplement known as Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC).

FPUC expired on July 25, and Congress has failed to extend it. It provided $600/week to anyone eligible for unemployment, starting April 4, and allowed New Jersey to put $8.4 billion in additional benefits into the hands of the unemployed and underemployed hit by COVID-19, on top of their regular weekly benefit. On a typical week at the height of the program, New Jerseyans would collectively receive more than $500 million in FPUC payments, compared with just $70 million in back-week payments made last week.

The Labor Department on Wednesday announced it had applied for a grant through FEMA’s Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance (LWA) program, which provides up to $300 per week for a limited time to eligible individuals, on top of other unemployment compensation they receive.

“While we will take whatever steps are necessary to get as much federal assistance to unemployed New Jersey workers as possible, the FEMA program provides half the benefit and only to a fraction of unemployed individuals and families struggling under the weight of this continuing pandemic,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “It will end as soon as the funding runs out in a few weeks, it excludes people whose unemployment is not a direct result of COVID, and it requires a separate application process that has not even been created yet.”

“It makes far more sense for Congress to extend the $600 supplement, which would require us to literally flip a switch to get those benefits flowing again,” Asaro-Angelo said.

For the week ending Aug. 22, the Labor Department received 20,175 new unemployment applications, a 21 percent decline from the prior week.

Of the total number of unemployment applications received, 1.34 million have met the monetary requirements for eligibility. Of those, 96 percent have received payment.

The number of New Jersey workers who have exhausted unemployment and have claimed extended benefits rose to 16,123 with the total payout to this group exceeding $37 million. Up to 20 weeks of extended benefits kicks in for eligible claimants when all other federal and state benefits have been exhausted.

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
July 5 – 11 38,150
July 12 – 18 25,804
July 19 -25 28,063
July 26 – August 1 16,573
August 2 – 8 13,822
August 9 – 15 25,405
August 16 – 22 20,175*
TOTAL 1,517,911

*This represents the final number for the week ended Aug. 22. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 19,348 – is based on advanced reporting.

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

Week NJ UI Payment FPUC Payment PUA Payment PEUC Payment EB Payment
March 16 – 20
$47.4 NA NA NA NA
March 23 – 27 $57.9 NA NA NA NA
March 30 – April 3
$89.8 NA NA NA NA
April 6 – 10
$140.7 $154.8 NA NA NA
April 13 – 17
$179.7 $238.8 NA NA NA
April 20 – 24
$211.1 $296.3 NA NA NA
April 27 – May 1
$171.7 $291.1 $27.1 NA NA
May 2 – May 8 $244.7 $502.4 $51.6 NA NA
May 10 -16 $239.7 $414.0 $55.6 NA NA
May 17 – 23 $236.2 $596.9 $112.3 NA NA
May 24 – 30 $242.7 $553.5 $87.7 NA NA
May 31 – June 6 $255.5 $635.2 $56.6 $56.6 NA
June 7 – 13 $244.5 $573.8 $60.7 $46.5 NA
June 14 – 20 $248.9 $626.1 $86.6 $37.4 NA
June 21 – 27 $240.4 $559.7 $73.5 $31.7 NA
June 28 – July 4 $202.9 $536.1 $71.7 $31.8 NA
July 5 – 11 $208.5 $521.3 $69.1 $24.4 $2.2
July 12 – 18 $209.3 $524.5 $65.2 $22.7 $3.9
July 19 – 25 $197.7 $526.2 $77.0 $25.7 $4.8
July 26 – August 1 $192.1 $513.5 $74.7 $33.7 $6.5
August 2 – 8 $202.6 $200.8 $86.1 $20.0 $6.2
August 9 -15 $175.0 $95.3 $77.8 $23.7 $7.1
Aug. 16-22 $167.3 $70.3 $52.1 $20.4 $6.7
TOTAL $4,406.3 $8,430.6 $1,185.4 $374.6 $37.4

NA: Benefit not applicable during the indicated weeks.

FPUC, PUA and PEUC are federal programs authorized by Congress under the CARES Act. PUA provides benefits through the end of the year; maximum eligibility is 46 weeks, including extended benefits. PEUC provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. State extended benefits automatically offers an additional 20 weeks of assistance once PEUC ends.

For more information on state or federal unemployment programs, 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.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button