Ohio Unemployment Tops 1.1 Million in Seven Weeks Due to Coronavirus Pandemic


Just over 61,000 Ohioans filed jobless claims for the week ending May 2, down from the nearly 100,000 claims filed the previous week. This brings the total number of claims over the past seven weeks to 1.1 million – a sum surpassing the combined total of claims for the last three years – the US Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says it has now distributed more than $1.9 billion in unemployment checks to more than 536,000 claimants, the Associated Press reported; adding:

Nationally, nearly 3.2 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. Roughly 33.5 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the seven weeks since the coronavirus outbreak began, forcing millions of employers to close their doors.

A new process introduced at the end of April asks Ohioans to file alphabetically on designated days of the week. Those who have a last name beginning with A through H should file on Sundays. Mondays will be designated for individuals I through P, and Tuesdays for the rest of the alphabet. Wednesday through Saturday will be open to anyone, but officials warn to expect higher volume those days.

To file and unemployment insurance claim, visit https://unemploymenthelp.ohio.gov/ or call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.

The ODJFS noted that claims by workers who lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus can enter the mass layoff number 2000180 on their applications. However, if affected individuals have already submitted claims without this number, they do not need to add it.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are at higher risk of more severe illness, including pneumonia or death.

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Samantha Witwer is a reporter at The Ohio Star.
Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.






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