Another 51,000 Ohioans filed jobless claims last week

    An empty restaurant. Photo by Karen Ducey | Getty Images

    Another 51,125 Ohioans filed jobless claims last week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced in a news release Thursday.

    That brings the total initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last eight weeks to 1,169,694, more that the combined total of those filed in the last three years.

    ODJFS reported distributing more than $2.4 billion in unemployment compensation to more than 587,000 claimants, the release said. Of more than 1 million unemployment applications received, the department said, 90% have been processed.

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

    Hanging over the heads of the Ohio General Assembly is the fact that the state’s unemployment fund is slated to run out in June. When this has happened previously, Ohio lawmakers have turned to the federal government for loans, thereby raising rates on businesses down the line.

    Ohioans can now also apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new federal program that covers many more categories of workers than the traditional unemployment program, ODJFS announced Wednesday.

    PUA offers up to 39 weeks of benefits to many who traditionally have not qualified for unemployment benefits, including self-employed individuals, 1099 tax filers and part-time workers, ODJFS said. The benefit amount is similar to traditional unemployment payments, plus an additional $600 per week through July 25, it said.

    David C. DeWitt
    David C. DeWitt is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience covering Ohio politics and policy. He has worked for the National Journal, The New York Observer, The Athens NEWS and Plunderbund.com covering topics such as education, health care, crime and courts, poverty, government, business, labor, energy, environment and social issues. His work has also appeared in Government Executive, the Columbus Dispatch, Girlfriends magazine, Bleacher Report and the Ashtabula Star Beacon, among others.