Employees in New Jersey could earn extra $500 in new back-to-work program

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, September 27, 2021
Employees in NJ could earn extra $500 in new back-to-work program
New Jersey is launching the "Return & Earn" program to assist unemployed workers and help small businesses fill the positions they need.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Governor Phil Murphy announced a new program aimed at getting unemployed New Jerseyans back to work.

The state is launching the "Return & Earn" program to assist unemployed workers in their return to work and help small businesses fill the positions they need to fill to grow, thrive, and lead our economic recovery.

"Throughout this pandemic, I have heard much about the issues facing small businesses and the dedicated, hard-working men and women who enable their success," said Murphy. "Our Administration is committed to assist businesses in hiring workers, while providing benefits to those entering and re-entering the workforce that will set them up for success in their new jobs and their future careers. This program will help both businesses and their workers, and is yet another step that we have taken to boost our economy."

Workers hired through "Return & Earn" will receive a $500 return to work bonus in their first paycheck. Candidates must be New Jersey residents and work full-time with at least 32 hours a week.

Eligible businesses must have 100 or fewer current employees, and the positions to be filled must pay at least $15 per hour.

Employers may receive up to $10,000 in wage subsidies to hire and train new employees for up to six months.

The wage subsidy will cover 50% of wages for up to six months for new employees.

The subsidy is capped at $10,000 per new employee and at $40,000 per employer.

Additionally, many workers will be eligible for supportive services like childcare and transportation reimbursement, which have been barriers for many re-entering the workforce.

"Return to Earn is coming from American Rescue Plan money, we are pretty excited about it," Murphy said. "I would characterize it as a pilot, we are going to put $10 million into it to get it off the ground and see what the uptake is. If it is as significant as we think, maybe we will find ways to amp that up."

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