In Brief

Extended unemployment benefits will end for 20K N.J. workers

By: - March 31, 2022 6:59 am

A federal program providing extended unemployment benefits was trigged in 2020 when the jobless rate skyrocketed. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tens of thousands of people will lose their weekly unemployment benefits starting next week.

The Department of Labor announced the federal unemployment program known as Extended Benefits will end for about 20,000 New Jerseyans on April 9. The program provided up to 13 weeks of additional jobless benefits for people who exhausted their 26 weeks of regular benefits.

The federal program was triggered in July 2020 after jobless rates skyrocketed. The state’s unemployment rate, which reached a record 16.6% in April 2020, dropped in February to 4.6%, below the threshold required to continue to provide the extra benefits.

“The declining unemployment rate is a great sign of our state’s economic recovery,” Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo said in a statement. “Knowing the end of these benefits will impact thousands of New Jersey families, we remain committed to helping residents transition back into the workforce.”

People with jobless claims may still see a balance left on their claim after the extended benefits expire, but federal rules bar them from claiming the money.

The state Department of Labor has disbursed $1.3 billion in extended benefit payments since the pandemic led to mass layoffs and monthslong business shutdowns.

New Jersey has recovered 90% of jobs lost in March and April 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SUPPORT NEWS YOU TRUST.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Sophie Nieto-Munoz
Sophie Nieto-Munoz

Sophie Nieto-Muñoz, a New Jersey native and former Trenton statehouse reporter for NJ.com, shined a spotlight on the state’s crumbling unemployment system and won several awards for investigative reporting from the New Jersey Press Association. She was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for her report on PetSmart's grooming practices, which was also recognized by the New York Press Club. Sophie speaks Spanish and is proud to connect to the Latinx community through her reporting.

MORE FROM AUTHOR