unemployment

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

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has put 270,000 unemployment claims on hold while they investigate possible fraud.

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

For unemployed Ohioans, the additional $600 weekly federal payment added to their benefits expired on Saturday. Congress hasn’t passed a new coronavirus relief package, and local jobless residents worry they won’t be able to make ends meet. 

Updated at 11:34 a.m. ET

New claims for unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time in four months — since March 28 — as states began reimposing lockdown restrictions in an effort to reverse a surge of coronavirus cases.

More than 1.4 million new claims were filed during the week ending July 18, an increase of more than 100,000 over the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Republican senators and the White House have reached an agreement on major elements of an upcoming coronavirus aid bill but have yet to settle on how to address unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of this month.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced late Thursday afternoon that the administration is reviewing the "agreement in principle" and the legislation will be introduced next week.

For Lorena Schneehagen, the additional $600 unemployment payment each week during the coronavirus pandemic has held her family's expenses together.

She's an out-of-work preschool teacher in Ann Arbor, Mich., whose son is about to start college.

"I need that to help pay his tuition," Schneehagen said. "And for food and just to pay the general bills."

Congress returns from a summer recess Monday as many states experience spikes in confirmed coronavirus cases.

State governments face a precipitous drop in revenue, parents and teachers are debating how kids will return to school in the fall, and millions of unemployed workers face the prospect of their pandemic assistance running out at the end of the month.

Updated at 8:44 a.m. ET

From airlines to paper mills, the job news is grim, and there are growing signs it won't be getting better anytime soon. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported nearly 2.4 million new applications for state and federal unemployment benefits last week.

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

An extra 20 weeks of unemployment compensation will be made available to eligible Ohioans once they have exhausted their other benefits.

A sign in the window of Trattoria Roma in Grandview on May 14, 2020.
David Holm / WOSU

A collection of health and human services advocates are urging Ohio leaders to immediately work on revamping the unemployment compensation system in order to avoid another backlog of claims.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Employers added a record 4.8 million jobs last month, as the U.S. economy continued to slowly bounce back from a deep and painful coronavirus recession. The unemployment rate dipped to 11.1%.

Job growth accelerated from May, when revised figures show employers added 2.7 million jobs.

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A strange thing happened this spring.

As co-workers began to get sick, essential worker Yudelka LaVigna took an unpaid leave of absence. When she got her unemployment benefits, she realized something unheard of: She was making more money not working.

"That just kind of opens your eyes," says LaVigna, who's now back at her New York call center job for essential services.

A closed sign is posted at Pins Mechanical duckpin bowling alley and bar in downtown Columbus.
Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

Ohio’s jobless rate has improved slightly since businesses began reopening. But as COVID-19 continues spreading through the state, one Central Ohio economist says the rest of 2020 will be difficult.

Rep. David Leland (D-Columbus) at a press conference with other Ohio House Democrats in 2019.
Ohio House

An Ohio bill would have allowed an extension of benefits to unemployed Ohioans who are at-risk or have medical conditions that could be deadly if they contract COVID-19. The sponsor of that legislation says it's not necessary now that Gov. Mike DeWine issued an executive order.

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

Tens of thousands of Ohioans are going to have to return the money they received in unemployment checks, because the state says it mistakenly sent them those benefits.

Ohio Senate president Larry Obhof is defending income tax cuts in their version of the budget, which must be finalized by this weekend.
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

The fund that Ohio uses to pay jobless benefits is now broke – a fate that was predicted even before the coronavirus pandemic. Now, state leaders are struggling with how to pay back the money being borrowed to keep those unemployment checks coming.

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