Close to 500,000 New Jersey workers collecting extended federal unemployment will lose their jobless benefits starting September 4, 2021. Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state will not use federal funds to lengthen the program past the expiration date. It is estimated it would cost at least $315 million a week for an extension. In New Jersey, which has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country, workers will no longer receive a supplemental payment of $300 a week on top of their regular benefits.
Also, approximately 250,000 New Jersey workers are receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to people who prior to the pandemic did not qualify for unemployment. The self-employed, freelancers, and gig economy workers will all lose these benefits next week.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey has distributed $33.7 billion worth of jobless benefits, $25 billion of which came from federal programs. Sadly, replenishing the unemployment trust fund will be a significant cost to all businesses. Starting October 1st, the higher tax rate hike in the unemployment insurance payroll tax to replenish the fund will be effective. NJ NFIB continues to lobby the Murphy Administration to use federal ARP money to restore the fund instead of putting the burden on all small businesses.