New Unemployment Claims in Ohio Rise Again

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – New unemployment claims in Ohio rose about 2,300 last week, according to the state’s Department of Job and Family Services, as 16,224 claims were submitted.

That marks the second straight week the number of claims has risen. The week ended May 29 saw 13,995 claims filed, up about 300 from the previous week.

The number of continued unemployment claims fell to 198,692 – down about 23,300 from the previous week – the lowest level since the Department of Job and Family Services began reporting the weekly totals in mid-June 2020. 

There were also 1,395 new pandemic unemployment assistance claims filed by those who don’t qualify for traditional unemployment benefits, such as part-time workers or the self-employed. There were 255,539 continued PUA claims filed.

Since the pandemic began taking an economic toll on Ohio 64 weeks ago, the state has paid $11.8 billion in unemployment compensation to more than 1 million people, as well as $10.4 billion in pandemic unemployment assistance to 1.1 million people.

In Pennsylvania, the state’s Department of Labor reports 31,317 new unemployment claims filed the week ended May 29, up nearly 7,000 from the previous week. So far in 2021, there have been 539,756 new claims submitted in the state.

As of June 5, the state has paid $44.5 billion in unemployment compensation, including $7.9 billion in traditional unemployment and $9.5 billion in pandemic unemployment assistance.

Nationally, the number of people seeking unemployment fell for the sixth consecutive week, coming in at 376,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Businesses are reopening rapidly as the rollout of vaccines allows Americans to feel more comfortable returning to restaurants, bars and shops. The Labor Department reported Tuesday that job openings hit a record 9.3 million in April. Layoffs dropped to 1.4 million, lowest in records dating back to 2000; 4 million quit their jobs in April, another record and a sign that they are confident enough in their prospects to try something new.

In May, the U.S. economy generated 559,000 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8% from 6.1% in April. Many economists expected to see even faster job growth. The United States is still short 7.6 million jobs from where it stood in February 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.