The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDOL) reported that New Jersey’s job growth remained robust and was nearing full recovery from job losses after the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the agency unveiled a partnership with a new bank provider for debit cards used by benefits recipients, and an updated and easier-to-use unemployment application that was mobile friendly.
New Jersey’s employment growth entered its 17th consecutive month of growth in April with non-farm employment up by 14,800 jobs to a seasonally-adjusted level of 4,191,500, according to NJDOL. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1%.
Job Growth Continues in New Jersey
Job growth thus far in 2022 has averaged about 18,700 per month, with the unemployment rate down from 5.1% reported in January. In total, the state has recovered about 95% of those lost in March and April 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and 98.2% of pandemic-related jobs have been recovered.
Leisure and hospitality (+4,400) and education and health services (+4,200) led the pack, with construction (-2,600) the only of the nine major private industry sectors tracked showing a decrease.
Updating Unemployment Application
The agency updated its Unemployment Insurance applications as a first step to improve the user experience for New Jersey residents seeking their benefits.
The agency said the new application was written in plainer language, and was mobile-friendly to account for the growing number of users applying via a phone or tablet.
“I’m thrilled to release these changes that make it easier for users to access and interact with the application, and help New Jersey workers feel more confident they understood the questions being asked,” said Labor Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo.
The agency has faced bipartisan pressure to improve the process after many constituents complained of long wait times, unanswered phones, and other issues amid the height of the pandemic.
New Debit Cards for Benefits Recipients
New Jersey Unemployment Insurance (UI), Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI), and Family Leave Insurance (FLI) claimants who received benefits via debit card within the past 18 months were issued new cards from a new provider as of May 11, with those cards becoming active May 18, according to NJDOL.
The agency partnered with New York Community Bank (known as Garden State Community Bank within New Jersey) to provide new cards for UI, TDI, and FLI benefits claimants.
The previous provider, Bank of America, did not bid to renew contracts in New Jersey and other states in 2021. Bank of America debit cards used in the program will be active through Aug. 25.
“We are pleased to have a new partner in New York Community Bank, and we look forward to working with them for years to come to reliably deliver benefits to our claimants in the most convenient way for them,” said Asaro-Angelo.
Leave a Reply