The number of jobless claims reported this week in Ohio was the highest since last spring, and more than a quarter of a million Ohioans are still out of work. While that’s half of the number at the height of the pandemic, experts say the economy is still struggling.
49,974 Ohioans filed first-time jobless claims in the third week of January, the highest number since May.
Hannah Halbert with the progressive leaning labor research institute Policy Matters Ohio said it shows the pandemic is still a problem, though the jobless rate fell from 16.8% in April to below 10% by the summer.
“Our state unemployment rate was down to something like 5.7% in November, 5.5% in December. So it maybe suggested that we were doing better than we were," Halbert said.
Over 2.2 million Ohioans have filed jobless claims, more than the total claims in the last five years.