“This pandemic isn’t done with us yet,” New Jersey’s labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said this week, adding that “workers are still struggling under the weight of layoffs and reductions in hours, as well as the difficulty of finding a new job during COVID.” Asaro-Angelo was quoted in a press release accompany the latest unemployment figures for the state.
We know that Thanksgiving was overshadowed by stress in many households. That’s underlined by the latest data on unemployment claims from the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. It reports that during Thanksgiving week more than 13,500 New Jerseyans filed new unemployment applications, an increase of 1,350 over the previous week. The department attributes that 11% increase, in part, to new and reopened claims by bus drivers and food service workers whose schools were closed over the Thanksgiving break.
More than 1.8 million New Jersey workers have filed for unemployment since mid-March. Approximately 1.48 million applicants have earned enough income to qualify for benefits, and 96% have received payment. Claimants have received an average of $13,787 in benefits.