COLUMBUS -- Ohioans filed 21,868 initial jobless claims last week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. This was 252,347 fewer than – or about 8 percent of – the peak earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic reached Ohio.

However, the total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 34 weeks (1,850,676) was more than the combined total of those filed during the last four years, largely due to state-ordered closures of "non-essential" businesses in response to the virus.

Ohioans filed 260,855 continued jobless claims last week, which was 515,447 fewer than – or about 34 percent of – the peak earlier this year. That includes both traditional unemployment claims and claims for extended benefits.

In addition, 242,709 Ohioans received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) last week.

Over the last 34 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $7.2 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 839,000 Ohioans. Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 95 percent have been processed, with less than 5 percent pending.

In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $6.9 billion in PUA payments to more than 671,000 PUA claimants.

Recovery Efforts

While ODJFS continues to manage the state’s unemployment program, it also has multiple initiatives under way to help spur Ohio’s economic recovery.

These include the Ohio To Work initiative to help displaced workers reskill and restart their careers, a $8.5 million National Dislocated Worker Grant that will help unemployed workers and employers impacted by COVID-19, and a $9.4 million grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities.

ODJFS works in partnership with local workforce development boards and local staff to provide employment and training services at 22 comprehensive and 66 affiliate OhioMeansJobs centers throughout the state.

Individuals can visit OhioMeansJobs.com or contact their local OhioMeansJobs center to find and apply for job openings, take skill and career interest assessments, create or improve their resumes, and practice interviewing.

Employers can contact their nearest OhioMeansJobs center to get help finding skilled candidates for jobs, screening resumes, learning about federally funded tax credits or training programs, and more.

To find contact information for your nearest OhioMeansJobs center, visit OhioMeansJobs.com and click on the icon for OhioMeansJobs centers.

Additional Unemployment Information

ODJFS urges individuals to file their unemployment claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov or pua.unemployment.ohio.gov. All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits retroactive to when they first applied.

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