COLUMBUS -- Continued applications for unemployment benefits have declined for the 10th straight week, according to the Ohio Dept. of Jobs & Family Services.

Those who remain jobless filed 347,587 fewer continued claims last week compared to the peak in April during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, for the week ending July 4, ODJFS reported 33,483 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor. The total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 16 weeks (1,464,290) is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.

Over the last 16 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $4.9 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 736,000 Ohioans.

Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, about 94% have been processed, with about 6% pending. In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $3.8 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more than 411,000 PUA claimants.

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