Cape May County mayors call for changes to unemployment insurance

BELMAR - Two mayors in South Jersey want to eliminate unemployment insurance for seasonal summer employees.

These workers include lifeguards, badge checkers and temporary Public Works employees. Some of them are filing for unemployment after Labor Day when their summer work ends.

To collect unemployment in New Jersey, people must have worked at least 20 weeks within the year. They also need to have earned at least $125 per week. The summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day is only 14 weeks, but some people work other part-time jobs before the summer season to make up the difference and then collect unemployment.

Mayor Carl Schupp, of Cape May Point, is asking lawmakers to change that. Schupp says, "The concept is outrageous. Unemployment is meant for people who unexpectedly lose jobs. There's nothing unexpected about the loss of their temporary jobs." He goes on to say, "This year it cost us $13,000, perhaps not a ton of money, but we could use every cent."

News 12 New Jersey asked the mayor of Belmar how much could be saved by ending this practice. Mayor Matt Doherty says it's not a big problem in Belmar, but it could save the Jersey Shore community an estimated $10,000 to $15,000 a year. He says that money could be better spent, like for improvements to the beaches and boardwalk.

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