Ohio businesses should profit as the state completes paying off nearly a $1.5 billion loan it needed to cover unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine said.
DeWine announced Ohio began the process of repaying the U.S. Treasury Department using federal money from the American Rescue Plan. The action is expected to be completed Thursday. If the loan is not paid by Monday, the federal government would have charged the state 2.777% interest, which would mean higher unemployment taxes for employers.
“I am not willing to let our employers bear the unemployment debt burden caused by the pandemic,” DeWine said Wednesday. “By repaying this loan in full, we ensure that Ohio businesses won’t see increases in their federal unemployment payroll taxes.”
Ohio’s latest jobless numbers show signs of concern despite a falling unemployment rate, according to an independent think tank.
Rea S. Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center and vice president of policy at The Buckeye Institute, said the December jobs report showed weakness and signs of unease.
Governor Mike DeWine’s office released a review of the state’s COVID-19 status and response as well as a list of actions taken by the state.
The governor updated this week’s coronavirus numbers, which saw 69 counties remain at their current level of exposure, and Preble County being downgraded from a level 3 to a level 2. In other COVID-19 news, the state has it’s own dashboard for COVID tracking of children and schools in conjunction with the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association and local health departments.
New unemployment claims in Ohio dropped last week by 5,963 from the prior week. For the week ending Aug. 8, 20,090 new unemployment claims were registered, compared to 26,053 new claims the week ending Aug. 1.
More Ohio workers also are dropping off the unemployment rolls overall. Advance unemployment claims for the week ending Aug. 8 stood at 350,702, which is a drop of 58,621 claims from the prior week’s 409,323 claims.
New unemployment claims in Ohio reported for the week ending August 1 continue to dip slightly under the previous week’s numbers.
According to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Ohio registered 25,279 new unemployment claims for the week ending August 1, a drop of 2,754 new claims for the week ending July 25, during which the state added 28,033 new claims.
Despite more than 35,000 new unemployment claims in Ohio last week, the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits dropped.
According to U.S. Department of Labor data, Ohio added 35,206 new unemployment claims in the week ending June 27. That’s 280 more than the previous week’s 34,926 new claims and brings the total number of unemployment claims in the state to 426,452, down 39,820 from the previous week’s 466,363 total number.
As the nation emerges from lockdowns imposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, new unemployment claims continue to decline.
The number of Ohio residents receiving unemployment checks decreased by 48,753 claims between the weeks ending June 13 and June 7. Advance claims for the week ending June 20 were 444,205 claims, compared to 492,958 claims the week ending June 13.
The Ohio House unanimously passed House Bill 614 on Thursday, which seeks to reform the state’s unemployment compensation system.
In the bill proposed by state Reps. Mark Fraizer (R-Newark) and Tracy Richardson (R-Marysville), it looks to modernize a system that was not prepared for the onslaught of unemployment claims this year.
More than 35,474 Ohio workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in the week ending June 6, bringing the total number of state residents filing unemployment claims to 546,854 since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Week-over-week, Ohio witnessed an increase of nearly 400 new claims from the prior week, during which 35,078 new claims were reported.