It was one year ago this week that the flood of layoffs began in New Jersey, as the state shut down businesses to try to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The state labor department reports that in the past year one out of every three workers lost their jobs and had to file for unemployment. That’s more than 2 million jobless claims filed.
Even in a weak job market, some companies are starting to think about summer hiring. The Wawa convenience-store chain plans to hire as many as 2,000 new employees in New Jersey in the next three months. Wawa is offering a $75 incentive for employees who get the coronavirus vaccine.
Paterson has moved a step closer to launching its guaranteed-income pilot program. Mayor Andre Sayegh announced applications for the program will open in mid-April. Under the program, the city will provide 110 eligible residents, selected by a lottery, with $400 a month for 12 months to help pay for necessities. Sayegh says there have been concerns that people won’t spend the money on appropriate items, but data from other cities shows otherwise.
You’ve got some breathing room if you owe federal taxes. The government has extended the April 15 tax filing deadline to May 17. The IRS says the decision was made to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic. But the IRS says estimated quarterly payments will still be due on April 15. We’re awaiting word on whether New Jersey will also extend the deadline for filing state taxes.