Nearly 14,000 Hudson County residents filed for unemployment during the tail end of last month, but that number may be even higher as unemployment insurance claims have skyrocketed as the COVID-19 virus continues to wreak havoc on the world economy and its labor force.
By Corey McDonald/Hudson County View
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor, 13,765 Hudson County residents applied for unemployment insurance during the two-week time frame between March 15th and March 29th.
More than half, nearly 8,200 people, applied during the week ending on March 29th alone.
These figures are likely not reflective of the total number of people who have applied, or even who attempted to apply, for unemployment.
The county-by-county breakdown reflects only “new claims PROCESSED over the period; it’s not reflective of all new claims filed,” NJ DOL spokeswoman Angela Delli Santi said in an email.
The numbers from Hudson County for the period of March 15 to March 28 reflect about 5.6 percent of the statewide total.
Additionally, of the state’s 21 counties, Hudson County has the 8th highest number of claims processed, according to data provided by the NJDOL.
While there is no breakdown of the statistics for each municipality, the numbers represent a stark rise in claims from the same period in 2019.
For the weeks ending on March 23rd and March 30th of 2019, for example, 15,340 claims were processed statewide.
Bergen County, the area with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, had the most claims processed for the time period between March 15th and March 28th this year: 21,647.
The numbers in Hudson County and the state reflect a nationwide trend as governors in a number of hard-hit states have ordered non-essential businesses to close.
Still, New Jersey is not alone in seeing an overwhelming amount of people applying for unemployment.
The coronavirus has completely upended much of the nation’s labor market. Nearly 10 million workers nationwide filed for jobless claims in the last two weeks of March.
Meanwhile, employers in the U.S. shed 701,000 jobs in the month of March, the steepest decline since March 2009 during the Great Recession.
The unemployment rate jumped to 4.4 percent, up from a half-century low of 3.5 percent in February, according to a report from Fox Business.
Follow Corey McDonald on Twitter @cwmcdonald_