For the first time since mid-March, the number of Ohioans filing jobless claims has gone under 40,000, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) numbers showed.
For the week ending on May 30, more than 34,000 people asked the government for assistance. This marks the sixth consecutive week that unemployment claims have been under 100,000. Also, this is the ninth consecutive week that unemployment claims have gone down.
Over the last 11 weeks, almost 1.3 million people have filed for unemployment benefits in Ohio. Nationally, more than 42 million people have filed for unemployment in the past 11 weeks.
Ohio has accounted for roughly three percent of these claims.
The ODJFS has given over $3.5 billion to more than 668,000 claimants, according to WKYC. ODJFS is still struggling to get people their claims with only 51 percent of Ohioans getting their money.
Last week, ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall testified to the Ohio House Ways and Means Committee about House Bill 614, which seeks to reform Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.
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.”
House Bill 614 is still in the Ways and Means Committee.
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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.