Ohioans File Fewest Jobless Claims Since the Start of the Year

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohioans filed 8,283 initial unemployment claims for the week ended April 23, the fewest filed so far this year. It also marks three straight weeks of declines.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 2,601 from the week prior. It’s the fewest initial jobless claims filed in 2022 since the week ended Feb. 5 when 9,719 claims were filed.

Continued jobless claims also declined to 41,216 the week ended April 23, down from 44,850 the week prior. The total number of traditional unemployment claims filed from April 17 to 23 was 49,4999.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in March was 4.1%, compared to the national unemployment rate in March of 3.6%. Labor force participation in Ohio in March was 61.7%, compared to the national rate of 62.4%.

Pennsylvanians filed 9,679 initial jobless claims for the week ended April 16, according to the most recent data available from the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis. That’s down from the 10,790 claims reported the week prior. Continued claims in the commonwealth decreased to 75,177 for the week ended April 16 from 83,101 the week prior.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week with numbers still at historically low levels.

Jobless claims in the U.S. declined by 5,000 to 180,000 for the week ending April 23, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally reflect the number of layoffs.

The four-week average for claims, which evens out the weekly ups and downs, rose slightly to 179,750 from 177,500 the previous week.

The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending April 16 inched down by 1,000 from the previous week, to 1,408,000. That’s the fewest since February 21, 1970.

American workers are experiencing extraordinary job security two years after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the economy into a brief but devastating recession. Weekly applications for unemployment aid have been consistently below the pre-pandemic level of 225,000 for most of this year, even as the overall economy contracted.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the U.S. economy shrank last quarter for the first time since the pandemic recession struck two years ago, contracting at a 1.4% annual rate, even as consumers and businesses kept spending in a sign of underlying resilience.

Businesses have also kept hiring, adding a record 6.7 million jobs last year, and adding an average of 560,000 more each month so far in 2022. The unemployment rate, which soared to 14.7% in April 2020 in the depths of the COVID-19 recession, is now just 3.6%, barely above the lowest point in 50 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.