COLUMBUS — In a sign that Ohioans are heading back to work, statistics the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported to the U.S. Dept. of Labor Thursday show that for the eighth straight week, continued applications for unemployment benefits have declined.
Those who remain jobless filed 314,744 fewer continued claims last week compared to the peak in April.
In addition, for the week ending June 20, ODJFS reported 34,553 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 14 weeks — 1,395,184 — is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.
Over the last 14 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $4.4 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 716,000 claimants. Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, about 94% have been processed, with less than 6% pending.
In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $2.8 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more than 332,000 claimants.
As of the Thursday afternoon update from the state, Ohio has 44,221 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,430 probable ones for a total of 47,651 with 51 percent males and 49 females ranging in age from under 1 to 109. The state reports 7,502 hospitalizations with 1,897 ICU admissions.
There are 2,530 confirmed deaths and 242 probable ones for a total of 2,772.
“Today’s case numbers are showing a big increase,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine at his Thursday news conference and via Twitter. “Almost 60 percent of cases are in the 20-49-year-old range. We have increased testing, but we do not believe this increase in cases is completely due to testing. Hospitalizations are also up.
“The average age of people infected in March was 51. So far in June, that number has decreased to 42,” he added.
Gov. DeWine, first lady Fran DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted all tested negative for the coronavirus, the governor said Wednesday.
DeWine announced the results on Twitter a day after the three were tested during a live streaming event Tuesday as part of the governor’s biweekly news conference on pandemic updates. Medical personnel with the Ohio National Guard wearing face shields, masks and gowns administered the tests.
Husted said in a tweet that the “test was easy, much easier than my college chemistry classes. And I passed this one!”