With approximately 157,218 unemployment claims filed last week, Ohio has lost more jobs in four weeks than it has in two years.
The numbers come from the U.S. Department of Labor’s seasonally adjusted weekly unemployment insurance weekly claims list, available here.
The claims filed the week ending April 11 represented a 30 percent decrease from the previous week’s total of 226,191, which in normal times would seem good news.
The state of Ohio gives slightly different numbers for the most recent claims.
For the week ending April 11, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 158,678 initial jobless claims. The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last four weeks stands at 855,197.
To put that in perspective, the total for the last four weeks of claims is 139,685 more than the combined total of 715,512 for the last two years.
Over these last four weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $227 million in unemployment compensation payments to more than 271,000 claimants.
Some state lawmakers are calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to reopen the state government, The Ohio Star reported Thursday.
“Ohio’s Covid-19 numbers have flattened out. Isn’t that what our goal was?” state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, said in a Facebook post last week.
“We can’t stay like this much longer, and the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who’ve lost their jobs or the thousands of small business owners can’t keep doing this either, or their lives will be irreparably destroyed.”
As of Tuesday evening, Ohio had 7,280 “confirmed and probable” cases of COVID-19 along with 324 “confirmed and probable” deaths.
Even as the private sector in Ohio is feeling the burn of Gov. Mike DeWine’s closure mandates, state workers are faring better, The Star reported.
The governor ordered state departments to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets and implement a hiring freeze. The governor halted pay increases and promotions for state of Ohio unclassified and exempt staff.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.