From the Record:
Close to 20% of New Jersey’s workforce has filed for unemployment benefits in the last five weeks to cover lost income, as businesses remain shuttered and social distancing measures to stop the coronavirus continue to be enforced.
Between April 12 and 18, 140,139 new people submitted unemployment claims for the first time, compared with 10,737 claims that same week in 2019, according to data released Thursday by the state Department of Labor.
That brings a total of 858,000claims filed since mid-March, when these unprecedented spikes in applications began as Gov. Phil Murphy began ordering businesses closed in a piecemeal way.
These numbers don’t capture the many New Jerseyans who continue to experience technical issues when trying to trying to file, or can’t reach a claims agent to submit their applications. And while the federal stimulus CARES Act that expanded unemployment is mostly implemented in New Jersey, workers who previously used up their benefits are still awaiting guidance for how they can receive their extra 13 weeks of insurance.
This historic flood of out-of-work individuals is reflected across the country: Nationwide, close to 4.4 millionpeople filed for unemployment last week. Over the last five weeks, close to 25 million people submitted claims across the country.