Unemployment claims are being paid, labor office says


Even with the signs layoffs are declining, the number of weekly claims remains higher than any single week of the global financial crisis in 2008, and the unemployment rate at a level not seen since the Great Depression 90 years ago.

At the end of last week, 1.2 million New Jersey workers had filed for unemployment benefits.

An additional 1.55 million Americans are expected to have filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 6, according to economists.

The onslaught of unemployment claims that followed state mandated closures of entire business sectors overwhelmed the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which said it had never before processed as many claims in such a short period. The prior week's figure was revised higher to 1.897 million from the previously reported 1.88 million.

People who aren't sure if they will be recalled back to work are being encouraged by the state to seek other employment.

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Massive numbers of workers filing weekly jobless claims has become routine since the beginning of shutdowns to stop the coronavirus from spreading, but the wave has passed its peak and has been declining steadily and fell by 355,000 in the week ended June 6.

Still, some 43 million American workers have filed for unemployment insurance since mid-March.

However, the figure is projected to be down slightly on the 1.88 million claims filed in the previous week.

South Dakota has paid out $4.9 million in state benefits, in addition to $13.1 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, $894,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $46,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.