TRENTON, NJ—The latest unemployment statistics released from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development on Thursday show that well in excess of half a million jobless claims were filed since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the State of New Jersey.
The Labor Department reported that 214,836 workers filed for unemployment during the week of March 29-April 4, up from 206,253 the week earlier (March 22-28) and 155,815 during the week of March 15-21. The three-week period saw a total of 576,904 workers file for unemployment.
In comparison, 9,467 unemployment claims were filed in the State of New Jersey during the week of March 8-14 and 7,996 were filed during the week of March 1-7 in the Garden State.
The state paid $283.9 million in unemployment benefits for the five-week period from March 2 through April 3.
“The number of new claims the Labor Department is receiving and the amount of benefits being paid to hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans shows the system is working, but we understand that’s of little consolation if you’re out of work and waiting for your benefits,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
A breakdown of the claims that were processed from March 15 through April 4 shows the hardest-hit sectors have been food/accommodation services, ambulatory health care (doctors’ and dentists’ offices) personal services (hair and nail salons) and temporary employment agencies.
New Jersey has created a jobs portal—jobs.covid19.nj.gov—to match those who are looking for work with nearly 50,000 openings in industries on the frontlines of the pandemic. Thousands of positions are available immediately throughout the state.