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Oregon unemployment claims drop slightly over fourth week of COVID-19 rush

The Oregon Employment Department says it has received nearly 300,000 initial claims over the past four weeks.

Posted: Apr 16, 2020 12:25 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2020 12:32 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Despite laid-off Oregonians continuing to struggle with getting through to file an unemployment claim, or perhaps because of it, the Oregon Employment Department reports a lower number of initial claims filed over the fourth week following the COVID-19 lay-off boom.

Over the week of April 5 through April 11, OED says it received 53,800 initial claims for unemployment benefits. It received 243,000 claims over the previous three weeks, revised from an original report of almost 270,000.

The agency said that it's still working to get as many Oregonians as it can set up with the greatest amount of benefits. OED began rolling out the additional CARES Act benefits last week.

"With the first CARES Act payments on April 10, Oregon is among the early states getting an extra $600 per week to those out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic," OED said.

OED says that it's still working to hire more people to process claims, as well as "programming the unemployment benefits system" for a new category that will allow the self-employed, contract workers, and gig workers to receive benefits.


RELATED: Oregon unemployment struggles to keep up with demand amid COVID-19 pandemic


The agency acknowledged that it relies on an antiquated computer system to process unemployment claims that has bogged down the process of getting in the sheer volume of new claims, particularly for an expanded pool of eligible applicants.

"The Employment Department will continue to examine opportunities to improve services to Oregonians, such as waiving the 'waiting week' for benefits," OED said. "As of now, waiving the waiting week requires thousands of hours of programming, and would delay processing record numbers of claims that are getting benefits to Oregonians who need them now."

Based on the detailed information from some of the claims filed last week, the majority of claims continue to come from laid-off workers in the restaurant and hotel industry. However, a shocking number of claims — at least 25,800 since March 15 — came from workers in the health care and social assistance field. Thousands more came from retail workers.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 214869

Reported Deaths: 2836
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41288617
Washington27471257
Marion24180329
Clackamas19603240
Lane14464171
Jackson12195151
Deschutes1035787
Umatilla918292
Linn607281
Yamhill496981
Klamath490279
Douglas423587
Polk421556
Josephine395874
Malheur365067
Benton338722
Jefferson245642
Coos226839
Columbia204732
Union159024
Lincoln151122
Wasco149831
Crook136824
Hood River124634
Morrow120317
Clatsop111810
Baker105717
Curry75512
Tillamook7285
Grant5577
Lake4848
Harney45111
Wallowa2086
Gilliam841
Sherman772
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3894556

Reported Deaths: 64228
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles127625424623
San Bernardino3040755236
Riverside3040604657
San Diego2906253793
Orange2787205141
Santa Clara1217672099
Sacramento1128961770
Kern1123181417
Fresno1036371736
Alameda939531272
Ventura829751041
San Joaquin760341446
Contra Costa74030830
Stanislaus650191085
Tulare50104854
Monterey44273524
San Mateo43880588
San Francisco38954561
Solano35193259
Santa Barbara35189465
Merced32814484
Sonoma31965328
Imperial28996745
Placer24530304
Kings23366248
San Luis Obispo21717264
Madera16885249
Santa Cruz16452207
Marin14589238
Yolo14574214
Butte12982203
Shasta12804242
El Dorado10774120
Napa1025281
Sutter9965115
Yuba681651
San Benito622963
Lassen586826
Tehama581566
Nevada518375
Humboldt489753
Mendocino457150
Tuolumne433473
Lake396364
Amador381648
Siskiyou252740
Glenn245727
Colusa233918
Calaveras227958
Del Norte15518
Inyo145338
Mono13125
Plumas7626
Modoc5737
Mariposa4857
Trinity4486
Sierra1240
Alpine890
Unassigned440
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