Department of Labor & Workforce Development

NJ Sees 41% Drop in New Unemployment Applications

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 6, 2020

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development received 16,573 initial unemployment applications last week, the lowest weekly total of new claims since the economic effects of COVID-19 began being felt in mid-March, and a 41 percent decline from the prior week.
 
Meanwhile, the Department paid out another $820 million in benefits for the week ending Aug. 1, for a total of $13.2 billion to New Jersey workers sidelined by the global health emergency in the past five months.
 
“It’s an encouraging sign that initial claims took such a dramatic drop last week, but we’re not out of the woods,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We see the economic devastation of this pandemic every day – in the eyes of workers facing layoffs for the first time, in the faces of families uncertain about their future. We are working day and night to make applying for and receiving unemployment benefits as seamless as possible.”
 
In the final week of Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the federal program that provided a $600 weekly supplement to everyone receiving unemployment, 685,000 individuals received $515 million in benefits. The Labor Department put more than $8 billion in FPUC payments into the pockets of out-of-work New Jerseyans during the 17 weeks the program was available.
 
Because it is a federal program, FPUC cannot by law continue to be offered in New Jersey beyond the benefit week ending July 25 unless Congress passes new legislation. However, the payments will continue to be made on all eligible claims for the weeks ending April 4 through July 25 -- even though the program has expired.  
 
Roughly 1.5 million New Jersey workers have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. About 1.3 million have been determined to meet the monetary requirements for benefits; of those, 96 percent have received payment.  
 
An additional 13,300 people who have exhausted all other state and federal aid are receiving state extended benefits, which allows an additional 20 weeks of unemployment payments. More than $17 million in extended benefits has been paid out so far. 

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*
TOTAL 1,458,509

 

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
TOTAL $3,861.4 $8,064.2 $969.4 $310.5 $17.4

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. State extended benefits (EB) automatically offers an additional 20 weeks of assistance once PEUC ends.  

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.pdf. For archived NJ claims data, visit https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/DataDashboard.asp.

*This represents the final number for the week ended August 1. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 15,835 – is based on advanced reporting.   

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