PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The pandemic continues to cause unemployment claims to rise in the Garden State.
The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development says unemployment claims in the state grew 25% from last week.
In addition, it says the number of workers seeking jobless benefits tops 1.6 million since COVID-19 forced many businesses to close back in March.
“New Jersey workers continue to struggle with the weight of unemployment and underemployment, and the accompanying financial worries of not having a job,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a statement.
Officials also said $15.6 billion has been distributed in federal and state unemployment benefits to workers. That includes those who lost their jobs, were furloughed, or had their hours cut in the pandemic, including $286 million for the week ending on Sept. 19.