30 million Americans have lost their jobs due to COVID-19

Another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the past week, bringing the total job losses from COVID-19 to 30 million. White House senior economic advisor Kevin Hassett sees the nation’s unemployment rate rising to close to 20%.

In New Jersey, COVID-19 has now cost the jobs of more than 930,000 residents. The State Labor Department says unemployment claims are being processed in about three weeks unless they require agent review. That happens when there’s a mistake or missing information, and those claims take longer to process.

Friday, the Labor Department will begin paying out benefits to some gig workers and independent contractors who
qualify under a new federal program.

Amid concerns over the pandemic’s impact on New Jersey’s state budget, the credit rating agency S&P has lowered its outlook for New Jersey to negative.