Ohio saw more than 42,000 people file for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS).
This marks the second straight week Ohio has received less than 50,000 unemployment claims.
With these additional unemployment numbers, almost 1.3 million Ohioans have filed for unemployment benefits over the last ten weeks, which is more than “the combined total of those filed during the last three years,” the ODJFS said.
Nationally, over 40 million Americans have filed jobless claims since mid-March as economies are still locked down, according to the Department of Labor statistics.
Ohio has accounted for roughly three percent of America’s jobless claims during this time period.
The ODJFS also said it has distributed more than “$3.1 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 644,000 claimants.” This means that the ODJFS has given 51 percent of people who have filed unemployment claims their government checks.
ODJFS said it has processed almost 93 percent of the unemployment applications it has received with around 7 percent of the applications still pending.
On Wednesday, ODJFS Director Kim Hall testified to the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee about House Bill 614.
The bill introduced by state Rep. Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville) and state Rep. Mark Frazier (R-Newark) seeks to reform Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.
During her testimony, Hall said she was not here to offer excuses, and added that the wave of unemployment claims “has been unlike anything any of us have ever witnessed.”
Hall said Ohio’s low unemployment claims before the coronavirus led to the agency cutting staff members in an effort to save state resources.
“When this emergency began, only 553 people worked in unemployment, and our call center was comprised of only 40 full-time agents,” she said. “To put that in perspective, in 2009, during the last recession, 1,422 people worked in our unemployment office.”
Hall concluded her testimony by telling the committee that the ODJFS will not rest until “every one that is eligible for benefits is served.”
“We are here for Ohioans in this pandemic response, and we also will be here for them in the recovery, to help connect them to employment opportunities as we rebuild our economy,” she said.
– – –
Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.