Ohio new weekly jobless claims third highest in nation

But Ohio spokesman says ‘summer workload’ numbers can rise

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

Ohioans filed 6,336 initial claims for unemployment benefits from May 26 to June 1, which was 1,698 more than the previous week, the state said Thursday.

About 569 of those claims have been flagged for identity verification, to ensure they are not fraudulent.

But that week-to-week numbers jump gave Ohio the third biggest increase nationwide in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims, according to finance website Wallethub.com.

Asked for a reaction to the ranking, a spokesman for the department called for perspective.

The state always recommends paying more attention to continuing claims than initial claims, said Bill Teets, spokesman for ODJFS.

“Anyone can file for an initial claim, but it is not indication of how many are approved and become continuing claims,” he said. “The continuing claims are less volatile and are better at helping you understand unemployment trends.”

Ohioans filed 37,026 continued unemployment claims last week, which was 394 fewer than the previous week, ODJFS said.

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

What might be most interesting, though, is the time of year.

Historically, continued claims begin to increase in late spring, early summer.

“We refer to it as our summer workload,” Teets said.

Two trends converge in early June and beyond. First, academic years end, so workers in transportation, food service, and other fields that serve school districts are temporarily laid off during the summer.

Another factor to watch in the summer: Factories.

Temporary layoffs in manufacturing happen when factories close for a few weeks to retool, perform deep cleaning, change up product lines and more, Teets noted.

“The result of these is an annual increase in unemployment claims,” he said. “As a side note, you’ll see a similar surge in the winter as construction season winds down, and holiday hiring tapers back off.”

The total number of claims filed in Ohio from May 26 to June 1 was 43,362.

Ohio’s unemployment rate in April was 4%, just above the national unemployment rate of 3.9%.

Ohio’s labor force participation rate in April was 61.8%, while the national labor force participation rate in April was 62.7%.

New national jobless numbers released Friday showed the nation added 272,000 jobs in May, an unexpectedly strong showing. Statewide numbers for the month of May are scheduled to be released June 21.

About the Author