Murphy: State unemployment offices might not reopen until ‘some point in 2022’

1 min read
Closed sign photo by hoto by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Senator Kristin Corrado expressed her disappointment at Governor Phil Murphy’s failure to meet his self-imposed deadline for reopening all of State government yesterday.

“I’m disappointed but not surprised that Governor Murphy failed to live up to his promise to reopen all of the State government services that have been closed since the start of the pandemic,” said Corrado (R-40). “When everything in the private sector is open, the continuing closure of important State offices, including unemployment centers, sends a message that the Murphy administration doesn’t care that lots of people need help. There’s a clear disconnect between the governor’s priorities and what New Jerseyans actually need.”

Last week, Corrado warned that the Murphy administration might push back the October 18 target date for reopening State government offices that Governor Murphy announced in August.

Corrado said she heard from angry constituents who went to the State’s one-stop career centers in Hackensack and Paterson yesterday for help with pending unemployment claims that couldn’t be resolved through the Murphy administration’s broken online and phone-based systems.

“We had constituents whose unemployment claims were stuck in limbo for months who thought they finally may get some face-to-face help yesterday with the expected reopening of the one-stop career centers,” said Corrado. “Instead of getting help, they were told by security guards that the offices weren’t open and turned away. They were handed sheets of paper with phone numbers to call for unemployment assistance. The phone numbers, of course, didn’t work when they tried calling. It’s a real slap in the face.”

In an email to legislators late Friday, the Labor Commissioner announced “there will be no in-person UI services at any DOL location at this time,” adding that he “hoped” they would be able to provide in-person unemployment assistance “at some point in 2022.”

“It absolutely outrageous that Governor Murphy is going to make desperate people wait another year for help with unemployment claims,” added Corrado. “It shouldn’t take two years for the Murphy administration to get these offices open and working for New Jerseyans who are begging for help. It’s complete and total incompetence.”