Federal government approves $300 jobless benefit for New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy says the federal government has approved New Jersey’s application for a $300 benefit for people who lost work because of COVID-19.
The governor said Friday it will take the state Labor Department until next month to come up with internal programming to distribute the funds. He added that the money was originally intended to go out weekly but instead will be distributed as a lump sum.
That benefit was announced in August by President Donald Trump in the absence of a deal with Congress to renew jobless benefits.
The Labor Department reports that it received over 24,000 new unemployment claims last week – a 25% increase from the previous week.
The number of workers seeking jobless benefits has now hit more than 1.6 million in New Jersey since the pandemic shutdowns went into effect in March. A total of $15.6 billion has been paid to workers in the state, according to the department.
The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.