Business Report: Expiring unemployment benefits, marijuana and workplace safety, Atlantic City outlook improves

Jobless benefits made available through the federal CARES Act are set to expire on Dec. 26

The clock is ticking for hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers in New Jersey who will lose their benefits unless Congress acts. The state labor department said Thursday that jobless benefits made available through the CARES Act are set to expire on Dec. 26. In New Jersey, 487,000 unemployed workers currently are receiving benefits through one of two federal unemployment programs. Those programs have not been extended by Congress. But there were some signs on Thursday that Congress is getting closer to a deal.

Nearly 100 business groups in the state are urging lawmakers to reverse recent amendments to marijuana legislation they say would weaken workplace safety. The business leaders say the bill should allow for drug testing in the workplace.

Things are looking up for Atlantic City, according to one Wall Street credit ratings agency. Moody’s has raised its outlook for the city from stable to positive, saying Atlantic City is making improvements in its governance and finances. Moody’s notes that progress comes though the casino industry has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, which has kept some visitors away.