Coronavirus crisis: More Ohioans filed for unemployment in last 21 weeks than last 4 years

Coronavirus crisis: More Ohioans filed for unemployment in last 21 weeks than last 4 years
Ohio's jobless claims last week skyrocketed to their highest since 1981 amid the coronavirus crisis. (Source: File)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 20,969 people filed for unemployment last week (Aug. 2-8) to the U.S. Department of Labor, which brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the last 21 weeks to 1,604,708.

To put that total into perspective, the total number of claims for the last 21 weeks is more than the combined total of unemployment claims filed over the last four years, according to ODJFS.

Over these last 21 weeks, ODJFS said they have issued unemployment compensation payments totaling more than $5.9 billion to more than 778,000 claimants.

ODJFS said of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, nearly 94% have been processed with only 6% pending.

Additionally, OJFS said more than 514,000 Ohioans applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and ODJFS issued more than $5 billion in PUA payments.

All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits – and any delays in processing their claims will not reduce the amount received.

Also, workers who lost their job related to COVID-19 can use this number to expedite your claim through the system: 2000180.

However, if affected individuals already submitted claims without this number, they do not need to add it.

Filing a claim online remains the best way for Ohioans to access unemployment benefits at

Ohioans without computer access need to call 1-877-644-6562 (OHIO-JOB) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Though online profiles will show that your next day to reapply for benefits is “Sunday,” the unemployment office is asking people to do their claims based on the schedule they released.

People with last names that start with A through H are urged to file Sunday; I through P file on Monday; and Q through Z should do theirs on Tuesday.

There is also a new website listing current open jobs in Ohio:

Employers can also go online and post jobs.

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