COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — First-time unemployment claims in Ohio last week reached an all-time high for 2023.

Ohioans filed 15,750 initial jobless claims from Sunday, March 19, to Saturday, March 25 — the largest weekly record since the start of the year, according to the Department of Job and Family Services. While first-time claims rose, the number of continued claims gradually declined.

Of the 15,750 first-time unemployment claims filed by Ohioans last week, 3,238 were flagged for additional identity verification to ensure they were not fraudulent, the department said.

Ohio's unemployment rate in February sat at 3.9%, slightly surpassing the national jobless rate of 3.6%. The Buckeye State's labor force participation rate, 61.4%, fell just below the national 62.5% rate, according to the department.

To file for unemployment, visit the department's website. More than 180,600 available jobs were listed by the department as of Thursday.