Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Unemployment Applications Drop for Second Straight Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 13, 2020

TRENTON – The number of new unemployment applications fell another 17 percent last week – to 13,822 – the lowest weekly total of new claims in five months, as the state paid out another $516 million in weekly benefits to eligible claimants.

The week ending Aug. 8 marked the second consecutive double-digit decline in weekly unemployment applications. Last week, 16,573 people applied for benefits, a 41 percent drop from the prior week. 

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has put $13.7 billion into the pockets of unemployed and underemployed workers since the economic effects of COVID-19 began being felt, with an average benefit of $11,500 per claimant.

The total amount of benefits paid out to date includes nearly $8.3 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the $600 weekly supplement that recently expired. Though federal law prohibits the state from continuing to offer the benefit, New Jersey continues to issue payments for eligible weeks from April 4 through July 25.

“It’s a relief to see initial unemployment claims decline for two consecutive weeks.  But with hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans still out of work, or being called back only partially, our workforce needs continued, sustained economic relief,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We are doing everything we can to make sure every person in need receives every benefit they qualify for.”

The number of New Jersey workers claiming extended state unemployment benefits rose to 13,986, with the weekly payment surpassing $6 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*
TOTAL 1,472,331

 

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
TOTAL $4,064.0 $8,265.0 $1,055.5 $330.5 $23.6

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 Aug. 8. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 12,992 – is based on advanced reporting.

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