Ohio Reports 42K New Jobless Claims

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There were some encouraging signs: The overall number of Americans now drawing jobless benefits dropped for the first time since the crisis began, from 25 million to 21 million.

The department has also issued more than $647 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, payments to more than 109,000 claimants.

The coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the USA economy.

The state added another 42,363 to its unemployment ranks in the week ending May 23, down almost 4,500 claims from the previous week's 46,862 claims.

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The number of people claiming regular unemployment benefits for consecutive weeks fell to 21.1 million.

Of the $4.3 billion in payments, $1.6 billion has come from the state, while $2.5 billion came as part of federal pandemic unemployment compensation.

A previous COVID-19 relief package boosted unemployment benefits temporarily, and a University of Chicago study showed that more than two-thirds of people receiving unemployment may be getting more in benefits than they would've gotten from their jobs. While the pace of newly filed applications has slowed, they are still higher than at any point in modern history before the pandemic hit. The Federal Reserve noted in its monthly Beige Book report on the economy that business owners "cited challenges in bringing employees back to work, including workers' health concerns, limited access to child care, and generous unemployment insurance benefits". Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), has proposed a bill that would provide $450 weekly to laid-off Americans returning to work, in addition to their wages.

- had a benefit year end after July 1, 2019, but have not qualified for a new benefit year.

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