Business Report: Unemployment benefits, gas prices, PNC Bank to raise minimum wage

NJ residents may feel the impact of Hurricane Ida in higher gas prices

The federal pandemic unemployment program is coming to an end, and Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey can’t afford to continue paying out extended benefits to cover the added $300 weekly payment. New Jersey does have about $4 billion unspent from the American Rescue Plan Act. For more on this story, go to NJSpotlightnews.org.

New Jersey residents may feel the impact of Hurricane Ida beyond the expected rainy weather coming our way. Higher gas prices are now possible, as oil companies had to take their refineries offline ahead of the storm, putting a crimp in supply. According to AAA, as of Monday, 13% of U.S. refining capacity is down, and typically, a Category 4 storm could mean three-plus weeks before refineries are back to normal operations. AAA says drivers should expect gas price fluctuations through Labor Day weekend, and other analysts think higher prices are possible beyond that. AAA said that, as of Tuesday, gas prices are averaging $3.19 a gallon in New Jersey.

Another company is raising pay to attract workers. PNC Bank, which has thousands of New Jersey employees, is raising its minimum wage from $15 to $18 an hour starting in late November. The company said the move will help it attract and keep the best talent.

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