OHIO — Ohio's unemployment claims took a sharp uptick last week to a rate not seen since the summer.
Between Nov. 8-14, 24,964 people filed claims for unemployment benefits, which is a more than 14% jump compared to the week before. It's also the highest number of applications filed since the end of July. More than 25,900 Ohioans filed between July 26-Aug. 1.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services reports more than $7.3 billion in unemployment payments have been dispursed to more than 841,000 Ohioans in the last 35 weeks.
Although there's no evidence to show that COVID-19 caused the rise in claims, it comes as the state is seeing record highs for cases and hospitalizations.
On Wednesday, the Ohio Department of Health didn't release complete COVID-19 data because of technical glitches and a surge of cases across the state, according to Gov. Mike DeWine's office. The department updated the database with partial information around 7 p.m., saying there are still thousands of cases to be counted.
As of Thursday, the dashboard still hasn't been updated.
Not only did Ohio see a sharp uptick in claims, but so did the U.S. overall.
The country saw its first increase in claims in five weeks. More than 742,000 Americans filed last week, which is 31,000 more than the week before.
The news comes as business owners and individuals worry about another potential shutdown. Gov. Mike DeWine has repeatedly said he doesn't want to do another shutdown, threatening the financial health of businesses and individuals, but said Wednesday it's not out of the question.
Lawmakers in the Ohio House overwhelming approved a bill that would prevent DeWine from issuing another shutdown like in the spring. HB621 would make all businesses deemed as essential and will allow them to stay open no matter what.
DeWine said he would veto the bill, saying it is “horribly misguided" and added the state needs to do what it can to stop the spread.