Ohio's unemployment rate more than doubled from 5.8% in March to 16.8% in April as businesses closed and employers idled workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall says she knows there have been problems, but the system's workload went up 2600% when the first closures were ordered in mid-March.
The April jobless rate is the highest since the state's current record keeping system was developed nearly 50 years ago.
"Compared of other states of our size of claims, we're falling right in line", Hall said. The number of initial jobless claims filed in OH over the last nine weeks (1,215,756) is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.
Ohioans applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) were alerted that their names, social security numbers, and addresses were compromised for about an hour. Those employees can file a federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claim if denied for traditional assistance, but more than 58% of the almost 31,000 PUA claims were also denied. Now, the expanded coverage of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) would cover these individuals who were denied OH unemployment because they did not meet the $269 wage and/or twenty (20) weeks requirement as long as their unemployment was related to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Ohio's jobless rate is two points higher than the national rate, and beats the previous record of 14 percent in December 1982.
In summary, if a claimant's State of OH unemployment claim was denied due to their being ineligible (insufficient wages and/or insufficient weeks of work), that individual now needs to apply for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).