With over 158,000 Ohioans filing for unemployment in the week ending April 11, the number of Ohioans seeking unemployment compensation remains at historically high levels. But for the first time in three weeks, new unemployment claims have dropped below 200,000 according to the most recent report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Across the country, the number of unemployment claims dropped by more than 1.3 million Americans. Yet, over 5.2 million Americans sought benefits last week.
The impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s unemployment system cannot be understated. In an alarming statistic, more Ohioans filed for unemployment in March than in 2018 and 2019 combined. Also, the solvency of the state’s unemployment trust fund which had been inching closer to its solvency goal is now expected to be insolvent by the end of June.
Next week the federally funded pandemic unemployment assistance program and federal pandemic unemployment compensation program are expected to be implemented, which will make unemployment compensation benefits available to individuals normally ineligible for benefits including part-time and independent contractors. The $600 bonus payments provided by the federal pandemic unemployment compensation program will begin to go out to all individuals receiving unemployment benefits by April 24 according to Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
The impact of the additional claims on Ohio’s unemployment filings will likely not be known for two weeks due to the reporting procedures of the U.S. Department of Labor.