New Jersey Unemployment Soars to 9.2%, njuifile.net for Benefits
New Jersey's unemployment rate soared to an astonishing 9.2% in the month of June. The states capital and largest city, Trenton and Newark respectively, showed staggering numbers of 18.4% and 14.3% unemployment rates. The unemployment rate in the state is at a 32-year high while Newark's is the highest it has been since July of 1994.
"That's dangerous," economist Jeffrey G. Otteau said of the Newark jobless rate. "That rate is right on the bubble in terms of the point at which people begin to give up hope. At 16 percent things start to look hopeless."
Otteau said he does not expect to see sustained improvement in the U.S. labor market until next year, despite a national report released Friday that showed an unexpected drop in the jobless rate.
Newark, a city of 280,000 residents and a logistical hub for nearby New York City, has been hit hard by the worst recession since World War II. The downturn has also cut into shipping activity and employment at the Port of Newark.
"Our nation has seen a 3 percent to 5 percent rise in the unemployment rate (and) Newark is no different," Mayor Cory Booker said. "These numbers represent real people and painful challenges."
Thirty-eight of the 96 New Jersey communities with more than 25,000 residents had double-digit jobless rates in June, led by Trenton at 18.4 percent. That compares with four communities in June 2008.
The state has set up a website, njuifile.net, for New Jersey state residents to claim unemployment insurance benefits.