The New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development said new unemployment claims fell for the third consecutive week during the week ending Oct. 31, as 24,690 people applied for unemployment.
The DOL said that, even with the drop of 9%, about 1.76 million people have applied for unemployment since the COVID-19 pandemic began drastically affecting the economy in mid-March. Of those, 1.46 million have met the requirements for benefits and 96% have received payment averaging more than $13,000.
The DOL has distributed a total of $18.4 billion in payments to workers, including $338 million last week.
The department recently noted that an additional 88,000 potentially eligible claimants would be able to certified for a $300 weekly FEMA benefit. The state has distributed $1.2 billion worth of payments to 778,000 New Jerseyans, and is hoping to boost that pool and utilize the remaining money in the Lost Wage Assistance program.
“Since the payments made to New Jerseyans did not exhaust our FEMA Lost Wage Assistance, we are developing a process for remaining claimants who may be eligible, but did not select a COVID-related reason for their unemployment to do so,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a prepared statement.