Ohio jobless claims fell below 19,000 last week
The number of Ohioans who sought jobless benefits slipped below 19,000 last week — the fifth week in the last six the number has fallen.
Across the nation Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department reported just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment assistance, a drop of 98,000 from 1.1 million the prior week, yet still evidence the viral outbreak continues to threaten jobs.
“The improvement in the labor market has been more uneven in recent weeks,” Gus Faucher, chief economist with PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, said. “In the past six weeks, initial claims for unemployment insurance, after seasonal adjustment, have risen in three of those weeks and fallen in three of them, although they are lower than they were in early July.”
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services also reported claim numbers Thursday, showing 18,988 initial claims were filed last week.
Since claims in Ohio hit an astronomical 274,215 for the week of March 28, numbers have mostly fallen week to week. There were three weeks in June that posted increases, another in mid July and a fifth earlier this month.
Still, the 1.6 million claims filed in the last 23 weeks is more than the last four years combined.
For the U.S., the number of initial claims has exceeded 1 million every week but one since late March, an unprecedented streak. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they had never topped 700,000 in a week.
“Layoffs are ongoing reflecting interruptions to activity from virus containment that are likely resulting in permanent closures and job losses,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research report.
Farooqi added that “the risk of permanent damage to the labor market remains high which will slow the pace of recovery. The return to pre-pandemic levels of prosperity is set to be an uncertain and prolonged process.”
In Trumbull County, there were 315 new claims, pushing the 23-week total 29,626. There were 326 new claims in Mahoning County for 34,583 new claims over the same period.
Initial unemployment claims by county
March 15 to April 4 12,961
April 5 to May 2 7,120
May 3 to 30 2,988
May 31 to June 27 2,653
June 28 to July 25 2,128
July 26 to Aug. 1 643
Aug. 2 to 8 424
Aug. 9 to 15 394
Aug. 16 to 22 315
March 15 to April 4 15,599
April 5 to May 2 8,404
May 3 to 30 3,449
May 31 to June 27 3,102
June 28 to July 25 2,331
July 26 to Aug. 1 525
Aug. 2 to 8 429
Aug. 9 to 15 418
Aug. 16 to 22 326
Source: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services