Nearly 214,000 New Jerseyans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, setting a state record for the third consecutive week.

This morning’s weekly report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows 213,897 new claims were filed in New Jersey, up slightly from the 206,253 claims recorded last week. The new number might be updated by the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development later this morning.

Adding in the 155,815 claims that had been filed in New Jersey for the week ending March 21, which was the first since the coronavirus shutdowns began, the three-week total for new claims in the state is around 576,000.

That’s more than had been filed in entire 52 weeks before that, when there had been 489,000 new unemployment claims filed.

Total employment in New Jersey in February was a seasonally adjusted 4,243,900. The number of new unemployment claims in the last the weeks, which isn't seasonally adjusted, amounts to 13.5% of that workforce.

The numbers probably understate the scope of the unemployment problem. Though record numbers of New Jerseyans have filed new claims, many others are continuing to have problems accessing the state's antiquated and overwhelmed filing system, and the state doesn't have nearly enough claims agents to keep up with demand.

Nationally, another 6.6 million initial claims for unemployment were filed the week ending April 4, a reduction of 261,000 from the previous week’s revised level. Nearly 16.8 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims in the last three weeks.

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