COLUMBUS, Oh. (AP) — Ohio’s unemployment rate has hit 16.8%, the highest since the state’s current record keeping system was developed almost 50 years ago.

The figure released Friday follows nine weeks of job losses following the decision to shut down much of Ohio’s economy to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Bret Crow is a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

He says the last time the unemployment rate was even near this figure was the 14% recorded in December 1982 and January 1983.

Crow says the 16.8% is the highest since the current statistical record keeping began in 1976.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)