ohio department of jobs and family services

 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

The state official in charge of the agency administering Ohio's unemployment system was on the hot seat Wednesday before a panel of state lawmakers.

"Closed" signs on the front of a restaurant in Bexley near downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Statehouse News Bureau

Ohio’s unemployment rate reached a record high of 16.8% in April, nearly triple the month before, as COVID-19 closures fully hit economic activity.

Deloitte, a consulting company contracted by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), is investigating a data breach in the system launched last week to pay benefits to 1099 and self-employed workers. A mass message was sent to applicants letting them know that their personal information was left unconcealed for a period of time.

A sign in the window of the Jury Room in Columbus' Brewery District says "Shut Happens" and "We Will Be Back."
David Holm / WOSU

The Ohio Department Job and Family Services has paid more than $2 billion in unemployment benefits to nearly 560,000 Ohioans since mid-March. But that’s only half of the 1.1 million claims that have been filed.

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.

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.

A job application with a pen.
Flazingo / Flickr

More than 470,000 Ohioans have filed unemployment claims in the last two weeks, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

It probably comes as no surprise that unemployment claims in Ohio have skyrocketed this week as businesses continue to temporarily close and lay off workers to try to slow the spread of coronavirus.

A job application with a pen.
Flazingo / Flickr

The latest numbers from state officials show that Ohio's unemployment rate didn't change at all last month.

Just 13 Ohio counties will be eligible for a waiver for heightened Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) requirements in the face of a federal rule change beginning in April.

That’s compared to 42 counties with a waiver now.

Federal regulations require able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) to work, go to school, get work training or volunteer for 20 hours a week to qualify for food assistance. Otherwise, they can only receive SNAP benefits for three months out of every three years.

Pexels

Ohio’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in November even as the state added almost 7,000 new jobs. 

Workers build Honda Accords at the Honda factory in Marysville, Ohio
Steve Brown / WOSU

Ohio's unemployment rate stayed level last month at 4.2%, the same as in September.

Mark Butler's son Andrew needed to be placed in a residential mental health treatment center, but insurance wouldn't pay.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

In May, WOSU shared the story of the Butler family, whose son Andrew has a severe intellectual disability that causes sometimes-violent outbursts.

A Trump administration proposal would cut food stamps benefits to over 3 million people nationwide.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

About 3.1 million people would lose food stamp benefits under the Trump administration's proposal to tighten automatic eligibility requirements for the food stamp program.

construction workers
Pixabay

Ohio’s unemployment rate was down slightly in June. It was an even 4% last month compared to 4.1% in May. Companies in Ohio have jobs that are going unfilled right now.

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