New Jersey saw a bump in new unemployment claims last week, following two consecutive weeks of declines, as the amount of pandemic-related jobless benefits distributed to workers in the state climbed to $27.3 billion.
For the week ending April 24, a total of 12,322* new claims were received, a 17 percent jump from the prior week, but still far fewer than the nearly 72,000 new claims received for the same week last year, as COVID-19 shuttered schools, restaurants and businesses across the state.
Since last March, the state has received 2,137,611** applications for unemployment benefits, including more than 261,000 claims that have been reopened, meaning the claimant is seeking to again receive benefits, after a period of having returned to work, within the course of a year. The average benefit per claimant now tops $18,000.
The American Rescue Plan signed March 11 extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – the $300 supplement – to eligible claimants for 25 weeks, through Sept. 4.
The maximum eligibility for PUA is now 75 weeks. PEUC now provides up to 49 weeks of additional benefits to those who exhaust 26 weeks of state unemployment. Extended benefits (EB) adds 13 weeks. The $300 FPUC supplement is for anyone collecting unemployment in any amount during eligible weeks. There is also a provision in the new rescue law that excludes the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits from having to be reported as income on federal taxes for households earning less than $150,000/year.
For more information on state or federal unemployment benefits, visit myunemployment.nj.gov.
Information on virtual Career Services can be found here: nj.gov/labor/career-services
Visit New Jersey’s jobs portal here: jobs.covid19.nj.gov.
*This represents the final number for the week ending April 24. The number listed for New Jersey by the US Department of Labor – 10,263– is based on advanced reporting.
**The number of new initial claims includes 261,377 claims that have been reopened by residents who returned to unemployment after a period of employment within a calendar year, as well as claims that turned out to be fraudulent.
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