Business Report: Disappointing jobs growth, support for Murphy veto, PPP loan program runs dry

Economists thought the U.S. economy created 1 million jobs last month. That was flat-out wrong

It is hard to figure out exactly what is going on in the job market. We know thousands of people are out of work in New Jersey, and more are losing their jobs every week. The state labor department says new claims for unemployment benefits rose in the latest week, even as nationally, new claims are falling.

Yet as we’ve been reporting, companies can’t find workers. The convenience store chain Wawa said it must temporarily close some stores because it can’t find employees. Economists thought the U.S. economy created 1 million jobs last month but that was flat-out wrong. The government’s job report out Friday shows it wasn’t even close, as only 266,000 new jobs were created in April. One economist we spoke with said some workers might still be nervous about returning to the workplace due to the pandemic.

As we reported on Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy got some flak this week for his veto of a red tape commission designed to review business regulations, but some are cheering that decision. The governor’s veto came after nearly 3 dozen labor, community and environmental groups said the bill would weaken regulations.

For over a year now, the Small Business Administration has been providing billions of dollars in PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans to businesses impacted by the pandemic. But this week, the SBA announced it has run out of money for most borrowers before the scheduled end date of the program, May 31. The SBA will continue to fund applications that have already been approved but will not accept any new applications, unless they are from community financial institutions, which generally serve minority borrowers.

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