TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Department of Labor saw an over 1,500% increase in jobless claims week over week due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The labor department received a record. 155,815 new claims of unemployment for the week ending March 21. For comparison, jobless claims spiked to just over 46,000 after Hurricane Sandy hit the state. At the nadir of the recession, the state saw 25,385 jobless claims for a week in July 2010.
The week ending March 14 began the spike with over 9,000 jobless claims.
“We understand the anxiety, uncertainty and fear out there among residents who have been laid off suddenly or seen their hours reduced,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo. “Despite some challenges our systems are experiencing due to volume, Labor Department staff are working continuously to meet the needs of all of our customers, and get benefits to everyone who deserves them as soon as possible.”
New Jersey has launched a jobs portal to try and connect the unemployed with "essential" positions during the crisis. The site has recevied up to 88,000 visitors in one day. You can access the portal here.
The state has routinely had the second-most positive coronavirus cases in the country, behind only New York. The total as of Thursday was 6,876.