Ohio unemployment claims jump more than 180,000

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Unemployment claims in Ohio jumped more than 180,000 last week, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

ODJFS said it received 187,780 jobless claims the week ending with March 21.

That is an increase from 7,042 the week prior.

The recent numbers come during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen many layoffs from the closure of businesses.

ODJFS said its top total monthly claims of all-time happened in December 1981 with 205,159.

Nearly 3.3 million people filed a jobless claim in the U.S. last week.

ODJFS released the following statement, information, and resources:

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services urges individuals to file their claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov. 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: jfs.ohio.gov/unemp_comp_faq/index.stm
Coronavirus-Specific Information: jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm

Extended 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.

Coronavirus-Related Claims
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.

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