Numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor show that about 25,000 Garden State residents filed for unemployment benefits for the week ending May 30. That’s a 25 percent drop from the previous week’s 34,000 filings.
Since the state’s economy was largely shut down by Gov. Phil Murphy in mid-March, about 1.1 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in New Jersey. For the week ending March 14, the last week before the spike in coronavirus cases led to the shutdown, New Jersey saw only 9,467 jobless claims.
New Jersey's worst week during the shutdown for new claims was the week ending April 4, when about 215,000 people filed for benefits. The latest numbers, while down significantly from that peak, are still about three times higher than the pre-shutdown data.
New Jersey is advancing through Murphy's reopening plan, which progressively allows more and more sectors of the economy to begin ramping up activity. Economists and officials are hoping that an economic rebound after all businesses are allowed to reopen will lead to a round of hiring, bringing the unemployment rate back down.
Nationally, about 1.9 million people filed for unemployment, according to the latest numbers, bringing the national total during the 11 weeks of the outbreak to more than 42 million. Florida had the largest jump in new claims with a 17 percent increase, and South Dakota had the biggest decline at 59 percent.
California, the most populous state, led the nation with more than 230,000 claims; New Jersey was 17th-highest.
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