COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Unemployment numbers are following an upward trend as Ohio reported more unemployment filings than any in the previous eight weeks.

In a stats release Thursday, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services said 14,724 people had filed their first jobless claim as of July 9, which was 2,243, or 17.9%, more than the previous week. Comparatively, the number of initial claims was 8,293 on May 21, but it gradually rose from there.

Of the first-time filers, ODJFS said it flagged 4,221 of them to send through further identity verification. It said this was a preventative measure to avoid potential fraud.

The 14,000-some initial unemployment filings joined an existing pool of week-to-week jobless claims, which also increased at a slower rate. The state saw 35,077 people filed their second or further continued claims as of July 9, which was just 67 more than the previous week, according to ODJFS. But it also marks 4,489 more than compared to two months ago: 30,228 on May 14. The two groups of initial and continued filers added up to a total of 49,801 claims.

ODJFS said the state had an unemployment rate of 3.9%, compared to the national rate of 3.6%. The department also included a note alongside its unemployment data, encouraging anyone looking for a job to visit its OhioMeansJobs website. It claimed to have 208,270 jobs available when checked Thursday morning, and the site allows candidates to search for jobs by job title, skill or company.