Jobs

A lone goose prowls the empty parking lot in front of a closed Kohl's department store.
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Ohio has paid out more than $1.7 billion to over a half a million jobless Ohioans in the last seven weeks. But there another section of the state’s unemployment website that’s starting to get attention: a page where employers who are reopening can report workers who they say refuse to go back.

David Holm / WOSU Public Media

When businesses reopen in Ohio, customers and clients won’t be required by the state to wear masks or facial coverings. But with a few exceptions, the state is mandating employees to wear them, along with observing social distancing and cleaning and sanitizing spaces. 

Updated at 8:38 a.m. ET

The telephone lines are still jammed at the nation's unemployment offices.

Another 3.8 million people filed claims for jobless benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. While that's down from the previous week's 4.4 million, a staggering 30.3 million have applied for unemployment in the six weeks since the coronavirus began taking a wrecking ball to the U.S. job market.

That's roughly one out of five people who had a job in February.

Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services in downtown Columbus.
Ohio Public Radio

Updated: April 27, 2020 7 a.m.

Nearly a million Ohioans, 964,556 people, have filed for unemployment in the last five weeks, more than the combined total in the last two years. But more are coming, as thousands of Ohioans who are self-employed or independent contractors have been waiting to file for unemployment under new federal rules.

Updated at 8:46 a.m. ET

The number of people forced out of work during the coronavirus lockdown continues to soar to historic highs. Another 4.4 million people claimed unemployment benefits last week around the country, the Labor Department said.

That brings the total of jobless claims in just five weeks to more than 26 million people. That's more than all the jobs added in the past 10 years since the Great Recession.

Urgent care at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, on March 31, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

Thousands of Ohioans whose elective procedures were postponed as a result of the state’s coronavirus outbreak will soon be able to access the treatment they need. Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is easing its restrictions on medical centers, and first priority will be given to patients awaiting surgeries.

Until a few weeks ago, Melissa St. Hilaire worked the night shift taking care of a 95-year-old woman for a family in Miami.

"I help her to go to the bathroom, use the bathroom, and I watch TV with her, and I comb her hair sometimes in the night," she said.

But one day in March, the woman's daughter told her not to come back, saying she wanted to protect her mother during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crashing servers, outmoded software and overloaded call centers are some of the obstacles standing between millions of unemployed workers and the financial lifeline the government has promised under the $2 trillion relief package approved late last month.

With every passing week the problem is exacerbated by new waves of jobless or laid-off workers whose paychecks have vanished since the coronavirus pandemic crippled the U.S. economy.

Call logs from Jessica Zalants, who's been trying to reach Ohio's unemployment hotline.
Courtesy of Jessica Zalants / Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism

Marcia Gassaway was in the first wave of Ohioans put out of work by COVID-19.

The single mom from Cleveland went to the emergency room on March 15. Due to her coronavirus-like symptoms, doctors ordered that she be quarantined at a special facility.

Updated at 8:43 a.m. ET

The number of people filing for unemployment climbed by another 5.2 million last week as the toll of the nation's economic dive amid the pandemic continues to mount. That number is down from the revised 6.6 million in the week that ended April 4, the Labor Department said.

But in the past four weeks, a total of 22 million have filed jobless claims — nearly wiping out all the job gains since the Great Recession.

Coronavirus In Ohio: Unemployment Claims Near 700,000

Apr 9, 2020
Honda's factory in Marysville, Ohio.
Tony Dejak / Associated Press

Officials say 695,519 people in Ohio filed for unemployment in the last three weeks as the coronavirus pandemic continues to shake the economy.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits shot up again last week, as 6.6 million more people filed initial claims, the Labor Department said Thursday. About 16.8 million have filed in the past three weeks, and analysts expect the numbers to keep rising.

In the prior week, ending March 28, a revised 6.9 million people filed first-time claims.

Managing Unemployment Claims Due To Coronavirus

Apr 8, 2020
 This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y.
Mike Groll / Associated Press

More than 6 million Americans filed unemployment claims in the last week of March. State unemployment systems are overwhelmed with applications and Ohio is no exception. 

Correction: The federal relief bill passed by Congress is expanding unemployment benefits to independent contractors, freelancers, 1099 workers, etc., and allows for up to 39 weeks of eligibility.

 This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y.
Mike Groll / Associated Press

Over 468,000 Ohioans have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks, that’s nearly a third more than the total number filed last year. The coronavirus restrictions have been a huge blow to workers who lost their jobs, and the fallout has created a tremendous strain on the system that’s set up to help them.

Updated at 10:38 a.m. ET

The number of new people claiming unemployment benefits totaled a staggering 6.648 million last week — doubling the record set a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In the prior week, ending March 21, a revised 3.307 million initial claims were filed.

In just two weeks, nearly all of the jobs gained in the last five years have been lost.

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