Ohio jobless claims top 1.2 million in last 9 weeks

Ohio jobless claims top 1.2 million in last 9 weeks
FILE - In this April 29, 2020 file photo, a man walks past a closed business in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Many people consider the Paycheck Protection Program that promised nearly $670 billion in forgivable loans to help companies rehire laid-off workers to already be a success because millions of businesses have gotten the money. But owners and business groups have said loans weren’t getting to companies most in need and it wasn’t arriving fast enough. (Source: AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Ohio jobless claims have now topped 1.2 million in the last nine weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, which is more than the combined total of claims in the last three years, according to latest state figures released Thursday.

For the week ending May 16, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 46,062 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor.

Over the last nine weeks, ODJFS says it has has distributed more than $2.8 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 619,000 people.

Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 92% have been processed, with less than 8% pending, state officials say.

In addition, more than 161,000 Ohioans have applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and ODJFS has issued more than $21 million in PUA payments.

ODJFS urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov.

“Each claim is important to us, and we recognize the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many Ohio families. We are expanding staff support, working longer hours and adding more technological capacity so that we can serve Ohioans as quickly as possible,” OSJFS said in a news release.

All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received.

“ODJFS will not rest until all eligible Ohioans are served,” the news release states.

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