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Pandemic Relief to Garden State Workers Nears $28B

New Jersey saw a slight increase in new unemployment claims from the previous week, as the number of pandemic-related benefits sent to Garden State workers neared $27.7 billion.

For the week ending April 30, a total of 14,073* new claims were received, as compared to 12,322 filed week ending April 24. The same week in April 2020, New Jersey Department of Labor offices received approximately 90,000 initial claims as the pandemic took tighter hold.

The average benefit per claimant now tops $18,200. Since last March, the state has received 2,151,684** applications for unemployment benefits, including more than 263,741 claims that have been reopened, meaning the claimant is seeking to receive benefits after a period of having returned to work within the course of a year.

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.

For national unemployment data, visit https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf. For archived NJ claims data, visit https://oui.doleta.gov/unemploy/DataDashboard.asp.

*This represents the final number for the week ending April 30. The number listed for New Jersey by the US Department of Labor – 13,537– is based on advanced reporting.

**The number of new initial claims includes 263,741 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.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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