Lt. Gov. Husted announced that they have expanded the unemployment online application system’s capacity by 20 times. They also have added 300 state workers to take phone calls faster.
State leaders believe these changes will help the situation but admit it may be tough to keep up because changes in federal law will now allow self-employed workers to file unemployment claims.
Nearly 188,000 people filed for unemployment in Ohio last week, compared to just over 7,000 the previous week.
For the week ending March 21, 187,780 people in Ohio filed for unemployment, according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services. A week earlier, it was 7,042.
On Wednesday, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted apologized for any issues people experience visiting unemployment.ohio.gov, explaining the site had over 400,000 visitors on Tuesday alone. He was assured the site was up and running, and those needing to file for unemployment should be able to do so.
Additionally, Husted ensured that unemployment will be paid out retroactively, meaning the state will honor pay owed from the day citizens lost their jobs, not the day they were able to apply.
Servers have been added to the online claims system can handle the influx of claims, according to the ODJFS.
“It’s important to keep in mind that during previous downturns in the economy, claims came in waves as the recession worsened and industries began to shut down, whereas these claims came in all at once and created a tsunami. The amount of claims in this short expanse of time would tax any online system, especially one that is 16 years old,” according to a statement from ODJFS.
Here are the all-time monthly claims in Ohio
- 205,159: December, 1981
- 167,636: December, 1982
- 166,907: November, 1982
- 164,962: January 1982
- 164,293: January 1983