Ohio’s unemployment fund has been shaky for years

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Predictable and unavoidable are not necessarily the same thing.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread around the country, Gov. Mike DeWine was among the first to issue orders to cease certain commercial activity, as public health concerns were paramount. In Ohio, as in every other state in the nation, unemployment claims increased. This was partially because businesses lost revenue and could not afford to make payroll, but also because Congress issued new pandemic unemployment benefits, making the difficult decision to temporarily lay workers off slightly easier.

In many respects, Ohio was having a typical, albeit non-ideal, pandemic experience. However, Ohio began the pandemic in a very different place than almost every other state in America, specifically regarding its unemployment system.