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Assemblyman Kevin Rooney. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Asaro-Angelo must get through unemployment backlog or resign, Rooney says

By Nikita Biryukov, May 07 2020 11:17 am

Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) called on Labor Commissioner Rob Asaro-Angelo to work through the state’s unemployment backlog or resign.

“Fixing the current systemic problems with unemployment clearly requires new leadership,” Rooney said.  “Since Murphy won’t reopen the economy to maintain jobs, he needs to fix unemployment immediately.”

More than 1 million New Jerseyans have filed unemployment claims during the pandemic.

While a majority of the claimants have begun receiving unemployment payments, many independent contractors and gig workers have not, and others have not received $600 weekly supplemental payments cleared under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“I’ve heard excuses and blame, but not the leadership and action that is needed to help,” said Rooney.  “Over a million New Jerseyans are without jobs and in dire need of a financial lifeline. But, there doesn’t seem to be any ideas coming forward to fix the problems.”

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday said he expects the Department of Labor to work through the independent contractor backlog within the next week.

For Rooney, that isn’t soon enough.

“The labor department is an essential business right now that is failing at its job,” Rooney said.  “It is simply unacceptable that so many people are left more stressed and hopeless.”

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