COLUMBUS— The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported Thursday that, of the 101,825 initial jobless claims reported this week, at least 29,000 were flagged for potential fraud.
Anyone who suspects their identity was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim is urged to report it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) immediately by visiting unemployment.ohio.gov, clicking the “Report Identity Theft” button, and following the instructions.
As an alternative, individuals also may call (833) 658-0394.
Ohioans filed 101,825 initial jobless claims last week, according to statistics ODJFS reported to the U.S. Department of Labor Thursday. The total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 49 weeks — 2,665,169 — was more than the combined total of those filed from 2014 to 2019.
Ohioans filed 322,542 continued jobless claims last week — 453,760 fewer than, or about 41% of, the peak last year.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday, “Sporting and entertainment events will be able to reopen with 25% maximum indoor capacity and 30% maximum outdoor capacity provided they follow established precautions. This is a start. If the situation improves in spring/summer, this could be expanded.”
Some required precautions will include:
• Mandatory mask wearing for employees/customers
• Spectator pathways that allow for social distancing
• Seating in pods of no more than 6 people, recommended to be of the same household. Seating pods must be separated by at least 6 feet.
The Cincinnati Reds announced after DeWine spoke that the team is “excited to welcome fans to Great American Ball Park for the 2021 season at 30 percent capacity” as announced by DeWine.
Some of the health and safety measures fans should expect when visiting Great American Ball Park include:
• Masks are mandatory for all fans and should properly cover the nose and mouth, unless eating or drinking in the seats
• Socially distanced pod-style seating
• All tickets will be issued digitally via the MLB Ballpark app to allow for contactless entry
• Contactless and cashless forms of payment at concessions and merchandise stands
• New bag policy prohibiting backpacks
Full details are at reds.com/GuestGuide .
The governor also said Thursday that “Beginning March 1, we will lift restrictions on visitors to our state’s behavioral health hospitals,” said DeWine. “There will be certain safety measures in place to protect patients and staff, such as mask requirements, hand hygiene protocols, and time limits.
“Proms, banquet centers, wedding receptions, fairs, festivals, and parades guidance will be ready soon.”
He added that, as of Thursday, “Admissions to our Ohio Veterans Homes in Sandusky and Georgetown have officially resumed. More than 90% of veterans in these two homes accepted the vaccine, and as of right now there are no positive cases at either location.”
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week in a sign that layoffs may have eased, though applications for aid remain at a historically high level, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
Jobless claims declined by 111,000 from the previous week to a seasonally adjusted 730,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It is the lowest figure since late November and the sharpest one-week decline since August. Still, before the virus erupted in the United States last March, weekly applications for unemployment benefits had never topped 700,000.
The latest figures coincide with a weakened job market that has made scant progress in the past three months. Hiring averaged just 29,000 a month from November through January. Though the unemployment rate was 6.3% in January, a broader measure that includes people who have given up on their job searches is closer to 10%.
All told, 19 million people were receiving unemployment aid as of Feb. 6, up from 18.3 million the previous week. About three-quarters of those recipients are receiving checks from federal benefit programs, including programs that provide jobless aid beyond the 26 weeks given by most states.