New jobless claims in New Jersey fall to a five-month low

There’s at least some improvement in the labor market as the number of New Jersey residents filing for first time jobless claims fell 17% last week to 13,822. That’s the lowest number of new weekly claims in the last five months. Since mid-March, nearly 1.5 million residents have filed for unemployment insurance. Nationally, there’s a similar trend as less than 1 million people filed for first-time jobless claims in the latest week, the lowest number since March.

But there’s still a lot of pain in the job market as the nation’s unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, and we know there are New Jersey residents still waiting to receive their unemployment benefits. They’ve been contacting their state representatives looking for answers. Earlier this week, the Senate Labor Committee passed a bill that would direct a state audit of the unemployment insurance division and the handling of the deluge of unemployment claims.

Monthly revenues at the state’s casinos and racetracks totaled $264.5 million after their reopening in July. That’s a drop of nearly 21% from a year ago. But online gambling continued to show strength. Internet gaming revenues more than doubled, while sports betting revenue jumped 65% compared to a year ago.

Bergen County is extending its small business grant program. Business owners who missed out on the first go round can apply from now until Aug. 21. Eligible small businesses can receive up to $10,000 in funding.