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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW/AP) – In a sign that people are returning to work unemployment in Ohio declined for the 8th straight week.

That’s according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS).

ODJFS reported 34,553 initial jobless claims for the week ending June 20.

The total number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last 14 weeks (1,395,184) is more than the combined total of those filed during the last three years.

Nationally, the number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined slightly to 1.48 million last week, the 12th straight drop, and a sign that layoffs are slowing but are still at a painfully high level.

The steady decline in claims suggests that the job market has begun to slowly heal from the pandemic, which shuttered businesses and sent the unemployment rate up to 14.7% in April, its highest level since the Great Depression. 

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