State: In one week, jobless claims rise from 7K to 187K

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COLUMBUS — For the week ending March 21, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 187,780 initial jobless claims to U.S. Dept. of Labor.

A week earlier, we reported 7,042.

As another point of reference, please see below the top 5 all-time monthly initial jobless claims filed during the heat of the early 1980s recession.

All-Time Monthly Claims Totals

205,159 – December 1981

167,638 – December 1982

166,907 – November 1982

164,962 – January 1982

164,293 – January 1983

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at 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.

It’s important to keep in mind that during previous downturns in the economy, claims came in waves as the recession worsened and industries began to shut down whereas these claims came in all at once and created a tsunami.

This amount of claims in this short expanse of time would tax any online system, especially one that is 16 years old. It’s also important to note that unemployment insurance automated systems around the country are also struggling with the increased claims load.

Helpful FAQ sheets

General information:

Coronavirus-specific info:

Call center hours

Those without internet access or who have case-specific questions can call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.


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.

As a reminder, mass layoff notices are posted at .

Submitted article