Business Report: Jobless claims, unemployment delays, American Dream job fair, sports betting

The number of workers filing new unemployment claims continues to drop. In the most recent week, 547,000 Americans filed new claims. That was better than expected and represents a continued decline. One economist said that as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19 and the economy continues to open up, job opportunities will continue to increase.

Even with fewer new claims filed in New Jersey, many residents are still trying to resolve problems with their unemployment benefits. When asked about that during legislative budget hearings, state labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo acknowledged the ongoing challenges, even after staffing was increased and technology upgraded. He testified that an outdated federal unemployment system is hampering efforts to get claims resolved.

More and more New Jersey companies are ramping up their hiring. The American Dream mall held a job fair Thursday to fill 200 positions with some applicants getting offered jobs on the spot.

New Jersey’s sports betting industry has broken records in the past year, but there’s going to be some new competition. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week signed a bill that legalizes mobile sports betting, but it won’t start right away. New York still has to get the industry set up. Cuomo has pointed out that nearly 20% of New Jersey’s sports wagering revenue comes from residents of New York.

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