COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Ohio Jobs and Family Services said Thursday of the more than 115,000 initial jobless claims filed last week, nearly 20,000 have been flagged for potential fraud.
ODJFS said 115,174 initial claims were filed last week. Anyone who suspects their identity was compromised and used to file a fraudulent unemployment claim is urged to report it to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services immediately by visiting unemployment.ohio.gov, clicking on “Report Identity Theft,” and following the instructions. As an alternative, individuals also may call (833) 658-0394.
According to ODJFS, the total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 52 weeks (3,028,950) was more than the combined total of those filed from 2014-2019. Ohioans filed 322,063 continued jobless claims last week, which was 454,239 fewer than – or about 41% of – the peak last year. That includes both traditional unemployment claims and claims for extended benefits.
In addition, 192,532 Ohioans received Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) last week. Over the last 52 weeks, ODJFS has distributed over $9 billion in unemployment compensation payments to over 973,000 Ohioans. ODJFS has issued over $9.8 billion in PUA payments to over 999,000 Ohioans.
While ODJFS continues to manage the state’s unemployment program, it also has multiple initiatives under way to help spur Ohio’s economic recovery. These include the Ohio To Work initiative to help displaced workers reskill and restart their careers, an $8.5 million National Dislocated Worker Grant that will help unemployed workers and employers impacted by COVID-19, and a $9.4 million grant to expand apprenticeship opportunities.
ODJFS said job seekers can visit OhioMeansJobs.com or contact their local OhioMeansJobs center to find and apply for job openings, take skill and career interest assessments, create or improve their resumes, and practice interviewing.
To find contact information for your nearest OhioMeansJobs center, visit OhioMeansJobs.com and select “FIND A JOB CENTER” at the bottom of the page. Additional Unemployment Information ODJFS urges individuals to file their unemployment claims online, if possible, at unemployment.ohio.gov.
All eligible Ohioans will receive their unemployment benefits retroactive to when they first applied.