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20,000 new unemployment claims filed in NJ last week

The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development received about 20,000 new unemployment claims last week, approximately the same number that were filed the previous week.

The Labor Department paid out $343 million in benefits for the week ending Aug. 29.

In New Jersey, 1.54 million people have applied for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the region in mid-March. State officials said 1.35 million residents have met the requirements for benefits and 96 percent have received payments. The average total benefit is $11,400 per person. 

Last week, the Labor Department announced it had applied for a grant through FEMA’s Lost Wages Supplemental Assistance program. The program provides up to $300 per week, for a limited time, to eligible residents on top of other unemployment benefits they receive. FEMA requested additional information on New Jersey’s application and a revised application will be submitted Thursday.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides benefits through the end of the year. The maximum eligibility is 46 weeks, including extended benefits. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) provides 13 weeks of federal benefits for those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. State extended benefits (EB) automatically offers an additional 20 weeks of assistance once PEUC ends. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) provided an additional $600 a week to everyone eligible for unemployment for the weeks of April 4 through July 25. Congress has not extended the program. 

For more information on state or federal unemployment programs, visit myunemployment.nj.gov.   

If you are looking for work, visit the New Jersey jobs portal at jobs.covid19.nj.gov.