Oregon Breaks Record For Number of Unemployment Benefit Claims

For the last 3 weeks, Oregon has continued to break their record for the amount of initial claims for unemployment benefits filed in a week. The Oregon Department of Employment reports that residents filed 100,700 initial claims the week of March 29th, higher than the records set during the prior two weeks. In total, the agency has obtained 269,900 claims over the course of just three weeks.

The Oregon Department of Employment detailed data from 54,500 of the total claims, which show that the counties with the largest number of cases include Multnomah County with 12,100, Washington County with 6,600, and Lane County with 5,300. The leisure and hospitality sector (hotels and restaurants) continuously have had the highest amount of claims over the past 3 weeks, reaching 14,400 last week.

The agency is trying to implement the Pandemic Unemployment program, which allows individuals who are self-employed, contract workers, and gig workers to receive benefits. The OED has also quadrupled its staff in order to handle the increase in unemployment claims, and have said they paid $28 million in benefits to Oregon residents. The federal CARES Act is also giving out payments of $600, and they will start processing through the Oregon system by this Sunday. 

The OED has redesigned its coronavirus website page to provide guides for employers and employees for filing claims. They extended their hours for contacting them, and the agency says their wait times over the phone have averaged 106 minutes.

Sources:

Staff, KATU. “For Third Consecutive Week, Oregon Sees Record Claims for Unemployment Benefits.” KATU, KATU, 9 Apr. 2020, katu.com/news/local/for-third-consecutive-week-oregon-sees-record-claims-fo r-unemployment-benefits.

“Oregon Sets Another Record with 100,700 Unemployment Claims.” KGW, 9 Apr. 2020,www.kgw.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/oregon-sets-another-reco rd-with-100700-unemployment-claims/283-d3b9fca9-a0b1-4da9-84ac-e6687c 05428a.

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