The Ohio Department of Job & Family Services reported 34,575 new initial jobless claims for the week ending May 30, according to a press release.
While Ohio’s jobless claims have been dropping for nine weeks, the nearly 1.3 million claims filed in Ohio during the last 11 weeks of the pandemic is more than the combined total of claims filed in the last three years, says ODJFS.
Nationally, about 1.9 million people filed for unemployment for the week ending May 30 — an almost 250,000 decrease in claims compared to the week before, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
ODJFS reports that 94 percent of Ohio’s jobless claims have been processed — 6 percent are pending — and that it has distributed over $3.5 billion in unemployment payments to more than 668,000 claimants. It has also paid out $1.1 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to more than 166,000 claimants (those who are independent contractors, self-employed workers and business owners).
The week ending March 28 holds the record for the most initial unemployment claims in Ohio at 272,188. As of April 2020, Ohio’s unemployment rate is 16.8 percent.
As the ODJFS receives thousands of new unemployment claims each week, the department said that it is expanding its staff, working longer hours and increasing its technological capacity so that it can support Ohioans as fast as possible.
U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued this statement on May's labor statistics: “Today’s report shows much higher job creation and lower unemployment than expected, reflecting that the re-opening of the economy in May was earlier, and more robust, than projected. Millions of Americans are still out of work, and the Department remains focused on bringing Americans safely back to work and helping States deliver unemployment benefits to those who need them. However, it appears the worst of the coronavirus’s impact on the nation’s job markets is behind us.”