Labor Dept.: Initial unemployment claims up 70% as furloughs begin, school year ends

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Jul 9, 2020 at 12:04 pm

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced on Thursday more than 47,000 New Jersey workers filed an initial unemployment claim last week — a 70% jump from the week before.

The spike, according to the department, is made up mostly of furloughed state workers and those who were laid off when the school year ended in June.

Last week’s claims were the most submitted in a single-week period in nearly eight weeks, the department said. During the week that ended on May 9 (eight weeks ago), about 70,000 initial claims were filed.

As of July 4, $9.9 billion in unemployment benefits have been distributed to state residents since mid-March. Last week, $845 million in total was paid out.

“The number of people in need is staggering. We’ve had 1.35 million applicants since mid March; 1.2 million of them have met the earnings requirements to receive benefits, with 96 percent of them having received payment. We won’t let up until every claim has received a determination, every question has been answered and every claimant has been served,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said.

Nationally for the week, 1.314 million people filed for unemployment for the first time, a decrease of 99,000 from last week’s total, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

New Jersey’s weekly total of unemployment claims:

Week 1 (March 15-21): 155,815
Week 2 (March 22-28): 206,253
Week 3 (March 29-April 4): 214,836
Week 4 (April 5-11): 141,420
Week 5 (April 12-18): 140,139
Week 6 (April 19-25): 71,996
Week 7 (April 26-May 2): 88,326
Week 8 (May 3-9): 69,689
Week 9 (May 10-16): 42,365
Week 10 (May 17-23): 34,410
Week 11 (May 24-30): 26,752
Week 12 (May 31-June 6): 23,116
Week 13 (June 7-13): 26,392
Week 14 (June 14-20)33,004
Week 15 (June 28-July 4): 47,391
Total: 1,349,919

Also last week, the department began offering 20 weeks of extended unemployment to those who have exhausted their state and federal jobless benefits, bringing the maximum number of weeks of benefits claimants can get to 59.

The state said of the $9.9 billion in total benefits paid out since mid-March, $3 billion went to state unemployment payouts and $6.9 billion went to federal benefits through the CARES Act.

New Jersey’s weekly breakdown of payments (in millions):

Week 

NJ UI 

FPUC  

PUA  

PEUC

March 15-21 

 $47.4  

NA 

NA 

NA

March 22-28 

 $57.9  

NA 

NA 

NA

March 29-April 3 

 $89.8  

NA 

NA 

NA

April 4-11 

$140.7  

$154.8 

NA 

NA

April 12-18 

$179.7  

$238.8 

NA 

NA

April 19-25 

$211.1  

$296.3 

NA 

NA

April 26-May 2 

$171.7  

$291.1 

$27.1 

NA

May 3-9 

$244.7  

$502.4 

$51.6 

NA

May 10-16 

$239.7 

$414.0 

$55.6 

NA

May 17-23 

$236.2 

$596.9 

$112.3 

NA

May 24-30 

$242.7 

$553.5 

$87.7 

NA

May 31-June 6

$255.5

$635.2

$56.6

$56.6

June 7-13

$244.5

$573.8

$60.7

$46.5

June 14-20

$248.9

$626.1

$86.6

$37.4

June 21-27

$240.4

$559.7

$73.5

$31.7

June 28-July 4

$202.9

$536.1

$71.7

$31.8

Total 

$3,053.8

$5,978.7 

$683.4

$204.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | @emilybader