Economy

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are making progress on unemployment claims filed in March as states begin a phased-in reopening. 

New unemployment insurance claims are still reaching unprecedented levels across the Ohio Valley region.

At least 125,459 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 two 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 showing almost 3 million unemployment claims around the country for the week ending May 9, bringing the country’s total jobless applicants to about  36 million since mid-March. 

Labor Department figures show Kentucky with 69,069 claims; Ohio with 50,548; and West Virginia with 5,842.

These unemployment claims come as the three states are slowly working to reopen their economies. The data reported to the U.S. Department of Labor only accounts for unemployment assistance that has been processed.

Based at WKYU in Bowling Green, KY, Becca Schimmel covers economy and infrastructure.