New unemployment applications in NJ rise by 8.8 percent as $600 weekly federal supplement expires

The number of new unemployment applications in New Jersey rose last week, with 28,063 initial claims filed for the week ending July 25, an 8.8 percent jump over the prior week. That brings the total number of new claims in the state since the COCID-19 pandemic began to 1.44 million. State officials estimate that the pandemic sidelined one in four workers since mid-March.

Unemployed workers in New Jersey received a total of more than a half-billion-dollars in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation last week, with the newly expired federal unemployment supplement program driving the total amount of COVID-related benefits to $12.4 billion over the past 19 weeks. 

The $600 weekly unemployment supplement that had been available since April has put $7.5 billion into the pockets of out-of-work New Jerseyans. The last day to collect the benefit was July 25, so most eligible workers will see their final supplemental payment in the next week. 

Because it is a federal program, the supplement cannot by law continue to be offered in New Jersey beyond the benefit week ending July 25, unless Congress passes new legislation. The payments will continue to be made on all eligible claims for the weeks ending April 4 through July 25 — even after the program ends. About 840,000 people claimed the benefit last week. 

About 1.25 million residents have claimed unemployment insurance benefits since the pandemic began, and 96 percent of them received payments, according to state officials. An additional 12,600 people who have exhausted all other state and federal aid are receiving state extended benefits, which allows an additional 20 weeks of benefit payments. In the three weeks since the program has been available, $11 million in benefits has been distributed. 

New Jersey Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo acknowledged in a written statement that some residents are still having issues with their claims getting approved.

The weekly totals of new unemployment claims in New Jersey:     

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    
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* 
Total    1,441,936   

The weekly breakdown of  payments (in millions):    

Week    NJ UI    FPUC     PUA     PEUC   EB  
March 15-21     $47.4     NA    NA    NA   NA  
March 22-28     $57.9     NA    NA    NA   NA  
March 29-April 3     $89.8     NA    NA    NA   NA  
April 4-11    $140.7     $154.8    NA    NA   NA  
April 12-18    $179.7     $238.8    NA    NA   <