Labor Dept.: N.J. unemployment applications drop 41%; benefits payouts hit $13.2B

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development said it received 16,573 new unemployment applications last week, a 41% week-over-week decline and the lowest weekly total of new claims since the COVID-19 pandemic began mid-March.

The NJDOL said over the past five months, it has distributed $13.2 billion worth of unemployment benefits to 1.5 million New Jersey workers, paying out another $820 million for the week ending Aug. 1.

“It’s an encouraging sign that initial claims took such a dramatic drop last week, but we’re not out of the woods,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. “We see the economic devastation of this pandemic every day – in the eyes of workers facing layoffs for the first time, in the faces of families uncertain about their future. We are working day and night to make applying for and receiving unemployment benefits as seamless as possible.” 

The department has issued $8 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits since the program began at the start of April. In the last week of the FPUC, it paid out $515 million to 658,000 worker, providing a $600 weekly supplement to everyone on unemployment. Since it’s a federal program, it cannot by law continue to operate beyond the benefit week ending July 25 unless Congress passes new legislation. However, payments will continue on all eligible claims for the weeks ending April 4 to July 25.

Nationally for the week ending Aug. 1, 1.186 million people filed for unemployment for the first time, a decrease of 249,000 from last week’s total, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

New Jersey’s weekly total of new 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
Week 16 (July 5-11): 38,150
Week 17 (July 12-18): 25,804
Week 18 (July 19-25): 28,063
Week 19: (July 26-Aug. 1):
16,573
Total
: 1,458,509

Here’s the weekly breakdown of  payments (in millions):

Week Paid   

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   

NA  

April 19-25    

$211.1     

$296.3    

NA    

NA   

NA  

April 26-May 2    

$171.7     

$291.1    

$27.1    

NA   

NA  

May 3-9    

$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-Aug. 1 

$192.1 

$513.5 

$74.7 

$33.7 

$6.5 

Total    

$3,861.4  

$8,064.2 

$969.4   

$310.5   

$17.4