NEW JERSEY — New Jersey will not extend its pandemic unemployment benefits program, impacting thousands of residents who relied on the payments.
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement Monday, saying it would cost the state at least $314 million to $584 million a week to continue the benefit program.
“The reality is that continuing $300 per week benefit through state resources would be cost prohibitive,” the governor said.
The benefits are set to expire Sept. 4. This includes the $300 weekly benefit.
No states are extending the benefits, according to Murphy.
The state has distributed about $33.7 billion in COVID-related unemployment assistance to workers and families since the start of the pandemic, the governor said.
The thousands in the state received the unemployment benefits after COVID-19 forced many out of their jobs.
The state has invested in rent and food assistance, child care assistance and other support programs for those impacted.
The decision comes despite President Joe Biden encouraging several states to extend benefits for unemployed workers.
With the economy growing rapidly as it reopens from the pandemic, many employers are increasingly desperate to hire. However, the unemployed don’t necessarily feel the same urgency to take the jobs.