New Jersey saw a slight increase in new unemployment claims the week ending April 30 from the previous week, as the number of pandemic-related benefits sent to Garden State workers neared $27.7 billion, according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development on May 6.
A total of 14,073 new claims were received as compared to 12,322 filed the week ending April 24, the DOL said. Nationally, unemployment trended down, with 498,000 claims filed for the week ending May 1, a decrease of 92,000 from the previous week.
This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020—the week before the pandemic closed down businesses all over the country—when it was 256,000.
According to the NJDOL, the average benefit per claimant now tops $18,200.
The state has received 2,151,684 applications for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic, including more than 263,741 claims that have been reopened, meaning the claimant is seeking to receive benefits after a period of working within the course of a year.
According to data compiled by Fitch Ratings reliant on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey has regained just over half (53.7%) of the jobs it lost during the past year, making it one of the slowest states to recover from the COVID-19 recession.i