Department of Labor & Workforce Development

Unemployment Payments to NJ Workers Top $14B

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 20, 2020

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development has distributed $14.1 billion in unemployment benefits and received 1.5 million applications for benefits since COVID-19 forced businesses and organizations throughout the state to curtail operations five months ago.

For the week ending Aug. 15, the Labor Department received 25,405 new unemployment applications, reversing a two-week decline in the number of new weekly claims.

Many of the new applications are for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a federal income replacement benefit for workers who do not qualify for traditional unemployment. PUA provides benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors and those who do not have enough recent earnings to qualify for regular unemployment, as well as those unable to work due to COVID-19. For more information, visit nj.gov/labor’s worker protection pages at: https://www.nj.gov/labor/worker-protections/returntowork.shtml

“We’re moving claims forward for workers whose income has dried up due to COVID or who cannot return to their place of work because of the virus,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “We are currently paying benefits to as many as 300,000 people who do not qualify for traditional unemployment -- this is an entirely new population of people who are receiving benefits in addition to the record numbers of ‘regular’ claimants who are in need, often for an extended period, during the pandemic.”

Of the total number of unemployment applications received, 1.3 million have met the monetary requirements for eligibility. Of those, 96 percent have received payment.

The number of New Jersey workers exhausting state and federal unemployment and being moved to extended benefits climbed to 14,846 with the total payout to this group exceeding $30 million. Up to 20 weeks of extended benefits kicks in for eligible claimants when all other federal and state benefits have been exhausted.

Meanwhile, with Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) winding down, New Jersey paid out $95 million last week, the lowest weekly total since the program began. The $600 weekly unemployment supplement expired on July 25, but New Jersey continues to issue payments for eligible weeks from April 4 through July 25.

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*
TOTAL 1,497,736

 

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
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. 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, visit myunemployment.nj.gov.

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. 15. The number listed for NJ by US Department of Labor – 24,631 – is based on advanced reporting.

  Go back to all press releases