Coronavirus: Ohio unemployment applications increase slightly after weeks of decline

COLUMBUS — After weeks of steady declines in applications for unemployment benefits in Ohio, most categories for jobless assistance saw increases last week, according to data released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

>>RELATED: National jobless claims at 870,000 as fraud and backlogs cloud data

The category seeing the greatest increase in applications was initial claims, which increased 7 percent from the previous week, according to ODJFS data. Last week, over 17,400 Ohioans filed new claims for unemployment assistance, up from the around 16,000 that filed the previous week.

Continued claims increased slightly from last week with the state reporting an increase of around 500 applications for ongoing benefits. This week, 321,558 Ohioans filed a continuation on claims, compared to 321,063 last week, an increase of 0.2 percent.

All claims received by the ODJFS were up just a half percent, but remained historically high. Just over 339,021 applications were filed last week, which is nearly 600 percent higher than this time last year, according to ODJFS.

In the last 27 weeks, over 1.7 million applications for unemployment assistance have been received by the ODJFS, which is more than the combined total of the last four years. Over $6.6 billion in unemployment compensation has been distributed to over 809,000 Ohioans during the same 27 week time period.

In national unemployment figures, the Associated Press reported over 870,000 Americans filed for jobless benefits across the country.