Business Report: Unemployment rate, Horizon seeking change, holiday travel

A new AAA survey finds that 88% of New Jersey residents say they will stay home for Thanksgiving

New Jersey’s unemployment rate has risen slightly to 8.2%, according to a report from the state labor department. As of October, about 57% of the jobs lost in New Jersey since April have been regained. But the pace of layoffs is slowing. For the fifth straight week, fewer residents filed for new unemployment claims. In the most recent week, another 13,000 workers sought benefits — 8,000 fewer new claims than the previous week.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield is looking to change its corporate structure and become a nonprofit mutual holding company, something it also considered doing in the past. Horizon says the change would allow it to make more investments that would lead to improved patient care.

State leaders gave a progress report Thursday on the New Brunswick project known as The Hub, which is designed to be a center for innovation and entrepreneurship. Gov. Phil Murphy announced that The Hub’s first tenants will be Princeton and  Rutgers Universities, as well as Hackensack Meridian Health and RWJ Barnabas Health. The Hub is scheduled to open in 2024.

Usually this is a big week for the travel industry. But on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged people not to travel for Thanksgiving due to the rise in coronavirus cases. A new survey by the AAA travel group found that 88% of New Jersey residents say they will stay home for the holiday.