COLUMBUS -- Ohio residents filed 16,294 initial jobless claims last week, which is 257,921 fewer than – or less than 6 percent of – the peak earlier this year when the COVID-19 pandemic began.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohioans filed 320,532 continued jobless claims last week, which was 455,770 fewer than – or less than half (about 41 percent) of – the peak earlier this year.

The total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 26 weeks (1,698,355) was more than the combined total of those filed during the last four years.

Over the last 26 weeks, ODJFS has distributed more than $6.3 billion in unemployment compensation payments to more than 804,000 Ohioans.

Of the more than 1 million applications the agency has received, more than 94 percent have been processed, with 6 percent pending.

In addition, ODJFS has issued more than $5.6 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to more than 561,000 PUA claimants.

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