SOLON, Ohio — The number of unemployment claims statewide has set a record for the second straight week. More than 272,000 Ohioans filed for unemployment last week bringing the total number of claims to more than 468,000.
The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services says that’s more than the number of claims filed in all of 2019.
But there are still many more who say they need help and can’t get through on the phone lines.
“For the past 10 days or so I've tried several times to get through on that number,” Roger Carr, of Solon, said.
Each day he calls, Carr says he gets a message from the Ohio Office of Unemployment asking him to try again due to the unusually high call volume.
He was laid off from his job as a driver for several local senior centers back in March and now bills are starting to come in.
ODJFS says the best way to file is online, but Carr doesn’t have a computer. So he’s tried calling day after day with no luck.
He even woke up early Thursday and called just one minute before the call center officially opened at 7 a.m. and got the same high call volume message.
“If you can't get through at 6:59 a.m., actually 7 a.m. was when the call was connected. If you can't get through when they first open, when can you get through?”
ODJFS say they’ve been working around the clock to boost performance by reassigning 300 employees to help with call volume. Hours have also been extended on weekdays and weekends.
Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.