Auditor Faber Hears Concerns about Unemployment System from Mahoning Valley Residents

Friday, June 26, 2020


For Immediate Release:                                                      

June 26, 2020                                                             


Auditor Faber Hears Concerns about Unemployment System from Mahoning Valley Residents


Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber recently hosted a roundtable discussion with Mahoning Valley residents and local legislators to listen to concerns about Ohio’s unemployment system.


The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 788,000 Ohioans were unemployed in May with a 13.7% unemployment rate. This roundtable was an opportunity to listen to Ohioans describe how the unemployment system has handled this crisis and where efforts should be focused in the search for solutions.


“Ohioans are hurting right now and we need to ensure they are receiving the benefits they have earned,” said Auditor Faber. “What we heard is that there has been a systemic failure caused by the enormous burden brought on by the pandemic, as well as a failure in our customer service efforts as calls for assistance often go unanswered leaving those seeking benefits waiting and unable to pay their bills.”


Ohio’s unemployment operation has come under scrutiny for delays in Ohioans being able to access the system and receive their benefits. The overload of claims resulting from the COVID-19 economic shutdown has overwhelmed ODJFS call centers magnifying customer service flaws. Participants in the roundtable shared stories of  being put on hold for hours, being disconnected from calls, and receiving guarantees of call-backs or email responses that never come.


Legislators and constituents alike were disturbed by the discrepancies and issues that have plagued the system forcing Ohioans to repeatedly attempt try file for their benefits.


In addition to community members present to voice their concerns, Auditor Faber was joined by State Senator Michael Rulli and State Representatives Michelle Lepore Hagan and Al Cutrona.