The economy is bullish after the US Department of Labor reported 576,000 new initial jobless claims. This was the lowest weekly total since March 2020 and shows that the labor market is recovering. In New Jersey, around 11,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, a 43% decrease from the previous week.
State Senator Michael Testa says businesses in his area are hiring as businesses prepare for the summer tourism season. So the legislature in the First Legislative District has launched an initiative to help the unemployed get in touch with companies that are hiring. Testa believes the state Department of Labor could do more to get people back to work, and criticizes the decision to keep one-stop career centers closed. While nearly 21,000 new jobs were created in New Jersey last month, the state regained only about 54% of all jobs lost in the past year. The state’s unemployment rate is 7.7%, above the national average.
Since the tax law was changed and local and state income tax deductions (SALT) were capped at $ 10,000, U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-5) has been fighting to lift the cap. Now Gottheimer has new allies in his struggle. He announced the formation of a new non-partisan SALT caucus with 30 members, which will campaign for a change in the law.
A possible COVID-19 treatment has been discontinued. Kenilworth-based Merck stops a study of an experimental COVID-19 drug after it fails to help hospital patients. Merck is currently testing another antiviral drug for COVID-19 for outpatient use.
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