COLUMBUS, Ohio (FOX19) - Ohio’s initial jobless claims are down last week from the previous one, but overall now nearly 1.3 million people have filed for unemployment in the past 11 weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s more than the combined total of those who filed during the last three years, according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.
Another 34,575 people filed initial jobless claims to the U.S. Department of Labor for the week ending Saturday, May 30, state officials said Thursday.
That is down from the 42,082 who applied for unemployment the week ending Saturday, May 23.
ODJFS says it has distributed more than $3.5 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 668,000 people.
Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, state officials say most - nearly 94% have been processed - and about 6% are pending.
In addition, ODJFS says it has issued more than $1.1 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance payments to more than 166,000 people.
ODJFS urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov.
They say they are expanding staff support, working longer hours, and adding more technological capacity to serve Ohioans as quickly as possible.
State officials insist all eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received.
Ohio’s unemployment system has been overloaded with claims since the COVID-19 pandemic put tens of thousands out of work either temporarily or permanently.
A bill being considered now in the Ohio House of Representatives, House Bill 614, would allow the General Assembly to study and reform the application, processing, and administration infrastructure of Ohio’s unemployment compensation system.