Initial Ohio unemployment claims continue to increase

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Initial claims for unemployment compensation continue to rise along with the state’s number of coronavirus cases, the state reported Friday.

For the week ending Nov. 7, 21,868 Ohioans filed claims for unemployment, according to the Department of Job and Family Services. That’s a 3% increase from the previous week when 21,263 Ohioans filed claims but nearly 20% higher than October figures.

The state also said Ohioans filed 260,855 continuing unemployment claims last week, a figure considered a more reliable indicator of economic strength and one that has slowly decreased over the past few weeks.

As coronavirus cases soar in Ohio, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has warned he could order another shutdown of restaurants and bars. The industry has criticized the announcement, saying there’s no evidence they are a cause of spread and that such a move would be economically devastating.

One in every 315 people in Ohio tested positive for the virus in the past week, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by more than 114%, reaching an all-time high Thursday of 7,101.