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Are New Jersey unemployment offices open or closed?

As the pandemic appears to be winding down, a growing number of New Jersey residents are asking when the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s one-stop career centers will be reopening to respond in person to unemployment insurance issues.

According to Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo, the question is somewhat misguided as there seems to have been a widespread misunderstanding about one-stop shops and how they have worked for years.

UPDATE: Lawmakers want NJ to open unemployment offices

Does NJ have unemployment offices?

“Their main goal is to help people re-enter the workforce, either in the field they were working in or in a new industry,” he said.

“There have been no quote-unquote unemployment offices since the early 2000s, and over time there has been a decline in such services even in person at one-stop shops, as it has become clearer and clearer that people are moving to be more on the phone and more online,” he said.

Asaro-Angelo said it’s a waste of time to have people sitting in an office waiting for a customer to come in, instead of working on the phone or handling complaints online.

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He pointed out that services typically offered at one-stop centers include resume writing, developing work leads, interview coaching and referral to training courses to hone certain skills.

“Before the pandemic, about a third of our one-stop shops offered limited employment assistance. We plan to reinstate this assistance by appointment only, as soon as possible,” he said.

He suggested plans are underway for the service, but details have not been finalized.

Helping people is the goal

Asaro-Angelo said other states have shown unemployment agencies do more by phone and online than in-person visits.

He noted that no neighboring state had in-person unemployment services, and from Virginia to Maine, only Connecticut offered this service before COVID because they had no customer service presence at all by phone or in line.

He said that at the start of the pandemic, “all labor services were moved to a virtual platform, and then several months ago we opened our labor services to the public by appointment.

“One Stop Career Centers have never stopped providing services, we have made decisions with one primary mission in mind, to achieve the most benefits for the most people in the shortest time possible. deadlines,” he said.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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