Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services office. File photo.

By Ben Peters

Athens NEWS Associate Editor

Ohioians filed 21,868 initial jobless claims between Nov. 1-7, down about 8 percent from the peak earlier this year, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

The total number of initial claims filed on the state since April, nearly 1.9 million, was more than the total of those filed over the least four years as the pandemic has ravaged sectors of the economy.

Continued jobless claims continued to fall with nearly 261,000 made last week, down 34 percent from this year’s peak. That figure included traditional unemployment claims and claims for extended benefits, according to the news release.

More than 240,000 Ohioans last week received pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA), a program that provided benefits through CARES Act fudding to those who have been directly impacted by the pandemic, such as who themselves have been infected with the virus or a member of their household had been infected. ODJFS issued more than 6.9 billion PUA payments to more than 671,000 claimants, the news release said.

Since April, ODJFS distributed more than $7.2 billion in unemployment compensation to more than 839,000 state residents and more than 95 percent of the more than 1 million unemployment applications received have been processed. About five percent are still pending.

Ohioans who are out of work and are in need of financial assistance can apply for unemployment benefits online. All who are eligible will receive benefits retroactive to when they first applied, according to the release.

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