KENTUCKY, USA — Governor Andy Beshear (D) has repeatedly said Kentucky is out-performing other states when it comes to handling unemployment claims.
“Kentucky is doing better on unemployment than many other states,” he said Wednesday.
FOCUS wanted to verify that claim.
We requested unemployment data from five of Kentucky’s seven bordering states: Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Illinois. Only Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee provided numbers.
The Commonwealth said this week that more than $2.77 billion, which includes the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), was paid out after receiving more than a million claims since mid-March.
Ohio faced 1.2 million initial and unduplicated claims and paid out $4.4 billion.
Tennessee’s number of new claims was far less at 623,000, yet the state paid out over $3.2 billion.
West Virginia had 324,000 filings and paid out $630,000, but that doesn’t include the state’s regular unemployment insurance payments.
Meanwhile, Kentucky is leading the way with total pending claims from March (6,900), April (25,000) and May (17,400). Together, at the beginning of the week, that’s around 49,300 claims still being held up.
And that’s about 19,000 more than Ohio (30,356) and 33,000 more than Tennessee (16,287).
West Virginia did not provide its numbers.
Gov. Beshear had said success in processing unemployment claims is over 90%, but from the numbers we received, Ohio and Tennessee appear to be outperforming Kentucky.