Ohio unemployment claims rise when companies cut or close their businesses

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9:37 a.m., March 20, 2020

Ohio jobless claims rose nearly 29 times this week to more than 139,000, compared to the same period a week ago.

A week ago, 4,800 Ohioans filed jobless claims Sunday through Thursday, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Jobs in restaurants, casinos, salons, retail stores, hotels and others have been hit hard as many businesses shut down to combat the new coronavirus outbreak.


Nearly 78,000 Ohioans filed jobless claims Friday through Tuesday – more than 26 times as many as in the same period a week ago.

The unemployment rate in Ohio and other states is rising as companies restrict or temporarily shut down their services as the new coronavirus pandemic spreads across America.

Mike DeWine, governor of Ohio, ordered restaurants to close all businesses except for takeout, delivery, and drive-through. Since then, retail stores, bars, casinos and entertainment destinations have closed to fight the contagion. The store closings were extended again on Wednesday, but the state ordered hairdressers, tattooists and nail salons to close.

The dining room at Eli's Barbecue will be closed in the East End of Cincinnati's neighborhood on March 16, 2020 after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine ordered all bars and restaurants to close.

More than 29,000 Ohioans filed jobless claims as recently as Tuesday. That’s nearly six times the total number of filings in the past week, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Unemployment claims systems that have crashed are so overcrowded that networks have crashed in Kentucky, Oregon, and New York.

Ohio officials have hired government employees to help with rising unemployment claims. The agency has extended the opening hours of the call center from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Officials recommend filing claims online at https://unemployment.ohio.gov/.

Frequently asked questions can be found here. Here you will also find information and forms on the subject of coronavirus.

The Enquirer will update this story.

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