Ohio unemployment claims rise again as pandemic impact felt


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Both initial and continuing claims for unemployment compensation rose in Ohio last week, another sign of the economy’s continued weakness during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said Thursday that 38,327 Ohioans filed initial claims for unemployment for the week ending Dec. 12. That marked a 6% increase from the previous week, which had seen an increase from the week before.

Continuing claims for unemployment, considered a more reliable indicator of economic health, rose to 274,658 for the week ending Dec. 12, a slight increase from the previous week, the state said.

Since the pandemic began, the human services agency has distributed more than $7.5 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 868,000 Ohioans.

The 7-day rolling average of daily new cases in Ohio has risen over the past two weeks from 7,884 new cases per day on Dec. 2 to 9,236 new cases per day on Dec. 16, according to an Associated Press analysis of data provided by The COVID Tracking Project.