NJ Labor Dept.: Pandemic Unemployment Payments Reach $5.2B 

The New Jersey Statehouse. Senator Doherty's bill unfairly impacts skilled tradesmen, the writer argues.

NJ Labor Dept.: Pandemic Unemployment Payments Reach $5.2B

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has distributed $5.2 billion in unemployment benefits in the 11 weeks since efforts to battle the public health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic crippled the state’s businesses and workforce.

For the week ending May 30, the Department received 27,000 new unemployment claims, a 22 percent decrease from the prior week, for a total of 1.2 million new claims since mid-March.

Additionally, all 70,000 workers who had exhausted their benefits have now been notified to start certifying for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides 13 weeks of additional benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week — the first week this new federal benefit was available in New Jersey — more than 7,000 certified for benefits. 

“This pandemic has been especially difficult financially for claimants who had exhausted their unemployment benefits before it hit, and had to greatly reduce their work search because of the health crisis. We are proud to launch the PEUC program in New Jersey so we can deliver much-needed economic relief to these claimants,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “While we continue to make important strides in serving our customers, we won’t rest until every eligible claimant receives every penny they deserve.”

The weekly totals of new unemployment claims are: 

Week

New Unemployment Claims

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

88,326

May 3-9

69,689

May 10-16

42,365

May 17-23

34,410

May 24-30

26,752*

Total

1,192,001

During the pandemic, 957,289 have claimed benefits.

Eligible claimants have received $1.9 billion in state unemployment payments since mid-March, $3 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments and $334 million in PUA payments.

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

Week

NJ UI

FPUC 

PUA 

March 15-21

 $47.4 

NA

NA

March 22-28

 $57.9 

NA

NA

March 29-April 3

 $89.8 

NA

NA

April 4-11

$140.7 

$154.8

NA

April 12-18

$179.7 

$238.8

NA

April 19-25

$211.1 

$296.3

NA

April 26-May 2

$171.7 

$291.1

$27.1

May 3-9

$244.7 

$502.4

$51.6

May 10-16

$239.7

$414.0

$55.6

May 17-23

$236.2

$596.9

$112.3

May 24-30

$242.7

$553.5

$87.7

Total

$1,861.6

$3,047.8

$334.3

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, visit myunemployment.nj.gov. For more information on benefit extensions, visit: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/apply/extensions/

Claimants collecting unemployment must certify for benefits each week to continue to receive payments. Information on certifying for unemployment can be found here: https://myunemployment.nj.gov/labor/myunemployment/schedule.shtml

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, visit https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdfFor archived NJ claims data, visit https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/DataDashboard.asp.

*This represents the final number for the week ended May 30. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 25,632 – is based on advanced reporting.

 

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