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Oregon unemployment claims reach almost 270,000 in three weeks, but other states see much worse

Job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and response are set to easily top those from the 'Great Recession' of 2008, according to the latest figures from the Oregon Employment Department.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 11:24 AM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 5:57 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Over a period of just three weeks, initial unemployment claims have reached almost 270,000 in Oregon, according to the latest numbers from the Oregon Employment Department (OED). Yet numbers from across the nation demonstrate that it is one of the least affected states in the U.S.

By comparison, Oregon saw 147,800 net job losses over the period of the 'Great Recession' that began with 2008's housing crash, OED said.

During the week of March 29 alone, Oregon received 100,700 initial claims, breaking the records set by the preceding two weeks. OED says that it's still "rapidly adding" staff to take on the influx of new claims, and has been processing them at a "record pace." Still, there have been numerous reports from laid-off Oregonians unable to get through on jammed phone lines or running into other snags with their claims.

According to OED, the additional CARES Act unemployment payments of $600 will start going through Oregon's system "by the end of this week."


RELATED: Southern Oregon continued to create jobs through February, then the coronavirus happened


The state paid $28 million in benefits to Oregonians during the week of March 29, and officials expect that to rise dramatically as the CARES Act benefit starts to kick in.

OED also said that it is working to implement the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which would allow the self-employed, contract workers, and gig workers to become eligible for benefits.

The agency is still asking anyone who can file a claim online to do so. Although OED has extended its phone hours on weekdays and added more staff, it says that wait times have averaged 106 minutes on claims phone lines.

Yes, it's bad . . . but it could be worse

According to an updated study by the financial site WalletHub, Oregon actually has had the second smallest overall increase in unemployment due to coronavirus in the U.S.

Though Oregon saw a 1167.82 percent increase in initial unemployment claims year over year, WalletHub found this to be the lowest state-level increase in the U.S.

Oregon had a 743.7 percent increase from the first week of the year to the week of March 30, and this was the fifth lowest increase in the nation.

WalletHub found that New York, one of the states hardest hit by coronavirus, saw a 670 percent increase in initial claims from the beginning of the year to the 14th week — far better than the national average of 2,193 percent.

The states hammered hardest by unemployment, according to WalletHub's report, were Louisiana, New Hampshire, Virgina, Georgia, and Mississippi.

“States should aggressively focus on helping the companies in the most need," said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. "The federal response will include sending checks to most citizens, even those whose income has not been affected by the coronavirus. States can use a more targeted approach to divert resources to the companies affected the most, thus having maximum impact for the money."

Source: WalletHub

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
Medford
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Brookings
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