Ohio unemployment claims jump as pandemic impact continues


COLUMBUS (AP) — The number of people filing initial unemployment compensation claims spiked over last week as the economic impact of the pandemic continues to hit Ohio hard, the state human services agency said Thursday.

For the week ending Oct. 31, Ohioans filed 21,263 initial jobless claims, a 21% increase over the previous week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The state also said Ohioans filed 265,613 continuing unemployment claims, considered a more reliable indicator of the economy’s strength. That’s down only slightly from last week.

The state has distributed more than $7.1 billion in payments to more than 833,000 Ohioans during the pandemic. In recent days Ohio has begun the process of distributing an additional $420 million in federal pandemic aid dollars to small businesses, struggling renters, bars and restaurants, arts groups and more.

In addition, the state insurance fund for injured workers on Monday approved a record $5 billion in repayments to employers to help ease the economic burden posed by the coronavirus.

Ohio continues to see record numbers of COVID-19 cases. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 1,503, an increase of 73%, according to The Associated Press’ COVID Tracking Project.