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: 189986

Reported Deaths: 2522
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37678580
Washington25188229
Marion21664305
Clackamas17016209
Lane12744145
Jackson10681133
Deschutes855373
Umatilla813184
Linn477467
Yamhill438275
Klamath426061
Polk369152
Malheur349161
Josephine329668
Douglas321770
Benton301619
Jefferson216234
Coos204633
Columbia169526
Union144323
Lincoln136720
Wasco136628
Hood River117830
Morrow109915
Crook105720
Clatsop9698
Baker93914
Curry6409
Tillamook6333
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3368
Wallowa1805
Gilliam581
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3755869

Reported Deaths: 62220
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123515023991
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2964254683
San Diego2775333718
Orange2706255000
Santa Clara1187922085
Kern1089681367
Sacramento1041761672
Fresno1015361680
Alameda874851543
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68437802
Stanislaus618591055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41802568
San Francisco36599543
Santa Barbara34291453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29966318
Imperial28311720
Kings22948246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16430242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14030228
Yolo13871209
Shasta12071226
Butte11929198
El Dorado10111112
Napa984681
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604563
Lassen569824
Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365047
Lake346543
Glenn238025
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13677
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned320
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