Business report: Stalled job growth, benefits extension, Home Depot to expand, aiding small businesses

Republican state senators push for more emergency financial relief for NJ’s small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19

We got another reminder Friday about just how much the economy is being impacted by the spike in coronavirus cases nationwide. The government’s monthly jobs report showed a sharp slowdown in job growth. In November, the U.S. economy created only 245,000 new jobs, down sharply from October’s pace, when more than 600,000 new jobs were added.

Gov. Murphy signed a bill Friday that expands unemployed workers’ eligibility to collect 20 weeks of extended unemployment benefits. This will help those workers who have exhausted both their state and federal benefits.

More than half of the new jobs last month were in the warehouse and transportation industries as more people shift to online buying. New Jersey is benefiting from that. Home Depot has announced plans to open a new distribution center and new fulfillment center in Perth Amboy next year. The company wants to bring on up to 400 workers to staff the new facilities and is already hiring for the positions.

Republican state senators are pushing for more emergency financial relief for New Jersey’s small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Senator Declan O’Scanlon has put forward a bill that would provide an additional $300 million in assistance. Republican members of the Senate budget committee say they want small business relief to be included in any new state tax-incentive bill.