While it appears that the number of unemployment claims submitted last week dropped by a third, claims continue to come in at an extremely high rate by historical standards according to news reports.
In fact, Ohio has received more claims in seven weeks than the state has seen in the previous three years. ODJFS reported the total number of claims for the past seven weeks as 1,118,569, just over the 1,117,457 combined total for the previous three years. To date, $1.9 billion in unemployment compensation payments have been delivered to more than 536,000 Ohioans.
And, while our sisters and brothers in the ODJFS unemployment division continue to work in overdrive helping Ohio’s unemployed with precision and care, the cracks in the state’s overlooked and overwhelmed jobs program are really showing.
“The decimation of Ohio’s unemployment staffing in ODJFS through attrition and reorganization over two decades, particularly in claims in-take and adjudication, has been devastating,” said OCSEA ODJFS Assembly President Michelle Smith. “We’re seeing the fallout of that neglect right now. For most of us, it’s one step forward, ten steps back as we try to keep up with an overwhelmed system,” she said. Members in ODJFS continue to work 12-hour days Monday through Saturday, with many also volunteering on Sundays.
That’s why it’s urgent that Congress act quickly to send as much aid as it will take to help states deal with this unprecedented crisis and to get our economy back on track. Polling shows the majority of Americans support aid to our state and local governments. It is key to ensuring that services such as unemployment and reemployment programs have the resources and staff needed to help unemployed Ohioans. It also ensures that public services remain public and keeps private entities from profiting off the economic crisis!
Tell Congress to take action HERE OR Call Senator Portman at Call 888-981-9704 to demand aid for state and local governments in need, including Ohio's public jobs programs.