COLUMBUS, Ohio — The number of people unemployed in Ohio has spiked as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Numbers released Thursday from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services show the number of initial jobless claims filed within the last two weeks stands at 468,414.
Last week alone, new jobless claims hit 272,117 – which set a record for the second straight week.
“To put that in perspective, 364,603 initial jobless claims were filed during the entire year in 2019,” state officials said in a press release.
During these last two weeks, the state of Ohio has issued unemployment compensation payments worth more than $45 million.
Nationally, unemployment numbers hit a record of 6.6 million as of Thursday morning.
If you need to file for unemployment, you're encouraged to do so online HERE.
“Each claim is important to us, and we recognize the hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on many Ohio families. We have been working around the clock to streamline performance and boost capacity by adding servers so the online claims system can handle the unprecedented influx of claims, which has affected processing times.”
More than 300 employees with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services have been reassigned to assist with the increase volume.
“It's important to keep in mind that during previous economic downturns, claims came in waves as the recession worsened and businesses closed gradually, over time. In this case, the claims came in all at once and created a tsunami. Such a large number of claims in a short period of time would tax any online system, especially one that is 16 years old.”
NOTE: 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.