Labor Dept.: Unemployment claims drop again; benefits payouts tops $13.7B

The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development said it received 13,882 new unemployment applications last week, a 17% week-over-week drop and the lowest weekly total of new claims in five months since the COVID-19 pandemic began in mid-March.

Over the past five months, the DOL said it has distributed $13.7 billion worth of unemployment benefits into the pockets of unemployed and underemployed New Jersey workers, paying out another $516 million in benefits for the week ending Aug 8. The average benefit is $11,500 per claimant, the DOL said.

The department has issued nearly $8.3 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits since the program began in April. However, the $600 weekly supplement expired. The state will continue issuing payments for eligible weeks from April 4 through July 25.

“It’s a relief to see initial unemployment claims decline for two consecutive weeks. But with hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans still out of work, or being called back only partiallyour workforce needs continued, sustained economic relief,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said. We are doing everything we can to make sure every person in need receives every benefit they qualify for.”  

Nationally for the week ending Aug. 8, 963,000 million people filed for unemployment for the first time, a decline of 228,000 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
Week 20: (Aug. 2-Aug. 8) 13,822
Total
: 1,472,331

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 
Aug. 2-8  $202.6  $200.8  $86.1  $20.0  $6.2 
Total     $4064.   $8,265.  $1,055.5    $330.5    $23.6