TRENTON — Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday announced a new incentives program designed to address the issues that employers have cited in filling jobs as they have reopened for business following interruptions due the ongoing pandemic.

The announcement came during the governor’s Monday COVID-19 briefing, the video livestream of which can be viewed here.

The new program, called Return and Earn, offers a $500 incentive payment to new hires of businesses with 100 employees or fewer and, for employers, a wage subsidy for up to six months — capped at $10,000 per eligible employee and $40,000 in total.

“For employers, the $10,000 wage subsidy is there to help cover wages for a new employee for up to their first six months on the job, a time when employers are providing the on-the-job training to onboard and upskill new workers,” Gov. Murphy said during his COVID-19 news briefing.

“We know that there are good jobs out there just waiting to be filled,” he said. “Our hope is that Return and Earn will make it easier and faster for employers to connect with potential employees and to bring them on board.”

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