Number of the Day: $1.7 billion

September 3, 2010 | Number of The Day

As if New Jersey weren’t in enough debt, the state also owes the federal government $1.7 billion for the unemployment insurance trust fund, according to ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in New York. New Jersey has been borrowing continually from the bankrupt fund in order to pay the average $403.40 weekly unemployment benefit to the 9.8 percent of the state’s working population that qualifies. In an effort to replenish the fund and pay back the debt, the state hiked the unemployment tax on employers for 2010, raising it from $327 to $896 per worker.