New unemployment insurance claims are starting to reach a plateau but are still hitting unprecedented levels across the Ohio Valley region.
At least 154,102 people in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia joined those seeking help during the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That surge in claims is in addition to the more than one million unemployment assistance applications people in the Ohio Valley made since mid-March.
The data released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor shows more than 3.1 million unemployment claims around the country for the week ending May 2, bringing the country’s total jobless applicants to over 33 million since mid-March.
Labor Department figures show Kentucky with 80,060 claims; Ohio with 61,046; and West Virginia with 12,996.
These unemployment claims come as the three states have recently begun a phased-in reopening of their economies. Backlogs of unemployment insurance claims across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia continue to be a problem with some people still waiting for assistance they applied for more than a month ago.
The data reported to the U.S. Department of Labor only accounts for unemployment assistance that has been processed.