Ohio reemployment initiatives receive national recognition

COLUMBUS – Ohio’s commitment to helping job seekers become reemployed was recognized with a national award.

The American Institute for Full Employment gave its 2019 Full Employment Award to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for its development of a series of reemployment-focused initiatives for unemployment insurance claimants. The award is given after the end of each year.

“Over the years, we have used technology to match how modern-day professionals search for work,” ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said. “We continually look for ways to remove barriers, so more Ohioans can get back to work and contribute to the economy.”

Specifically, the AIFE recognized the following initiatives that Ohio implemented over the last seven years:

• Modernizing and expanding the state’s unemployment work search policies.

• Becoming the first state to leverage a new innovative partnership with LinkedIn that taps its valuable and verifiable work search activities.

• Enhancing and further integrating its online job search systems.

• Significantly improving completion rates in its reemployment eligibility services and assessments program to over 76 percent.

• Strengthening its communications with claimants.

Those initiatives have led to reductions in claim duration and exhaustion rates, both of which are stronger than the national average. As of Sept. 30, 2019, Ohio’s claimant exhaustion rate was 24.3 percent, nearly 10 percentage points lower than the U.S. average of 34.6 percent, making it the 11th lowest in the nation. In addition, as of Sept. 30, 2019, Ohio’s duration rate was nearly half a week lower than the U.S. average (14.6 vs. 15 weeks).

About 72,000 Ohioans are receiving unemployment benefits. In order to be eligible, individuals must be able to work, available for work and actively seeking work. In addition, to continue receiving benefits, they must conduct at least two work search activities each week.