LIMA — Within 48 hours, more than 48,000 Ohioans applied for unemployment benefits as bars and restaurants closed their dining rooms to comply with Gov. Mike DeWine’s new executive order — a dramatic rise in new unemployment claims as the novel coronavirus weakens the state’s once positive economic outlook.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services received just 1,825 new unemployment claims last Sunday and Monday, compared to the 48,640 claims received in the 48 hours after DeWine’s announcement was made Sunday afternoon.
The executive order relaxed some unemployment restrictions, allowing newly unemployed Ohioans to draw benefits sooner and extending benefits to Ohioans whose workplaces are temporarily closed.
Workers who have been ordered into isolation or quarantine by an employer or medical professional may also receive unemployment benefits, although Ohioans who do not show symptoms of the novel coronavirus but choose to self-quarantine anyway will have to rely on paid sick leave in most circumstances.
The DeWine administration is encouraging out-of-work Ohioans to file their unemployment claims online rather than over the phone to speed up the process, as JFS phone lines were overwhelmed on Monday.
A recession appears all but inevitable as the demand for services plummets.
“The longer it goes on, the more costly it is for everybody, the harder it is to fix it,” said John Navin, an economics professor and dean of the James F. Dicke College of Business at Ohio Northern University.