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Report: Oregon tops the nation in employment recovery after COVID-19 slump

Following an unprecedented nationwide lay-off boom due to coronavirus measures, Oregon leads the nation in dropping unemployment claims.

Posted: Jul 9, 2020 11:48 AM
Updated: Jul 9, 2020 11:49 AM

SALEM, Ore. — The coronavirus pandemic and resulting shutdowns have caused nearly all sectors of the U.S. economy to hemorrhage jobs, leading to skyrocketing unemployment claims beyond those seen during the Great Recession. As states reopen, some of those jobs have started to return, and a recent study from financial site WalletHub found that Oregon tops the recovery list.

"The June jobs report brought good news for American workers, as it showed that the U.S. added 4.8 million nonfarm payroll jobs during the month, exceeding expert projections," wrote WalletHub financial writer Adam McCann. "This demonstrates that the process of reopening states has had a positive impact, and many workers who were temporarily laid off while their employers remained closed are now being rehired."

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims — the change in claims from last week compared to the same week last year, the change in claims from last week compared to the start of 2020, and the change in claims since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis compared to last year.

According to the study, Oregon ranked best in the nation for recovery over the past week and second in the nation for recovery since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.

Source: WalletHub

Oregon has not been without its struggles, counting more than 505,000 regular initial unemployment claims between March 15 and the beginning of July, and building a backlog of unaddressed claims over the course of months. It wasn't until lawmakers applied increasing pressure on the state Employment Department that the agency developed a plan to address the backlog.

Governor Kate Brown ousted the erstwhile OED director at the beginning of June, and the agency has made significant progress on backlogged claims since.

Processing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims — those covered by federal CARES Act funding for disenfranchised independent contractors, gig workers, and the self-employed — has proven more difficult for OED. Less than half of those claims have been processed as of July 4, and roughly a quarter have started receiving payments.

Much of Oregon's strength compared to the rest of the U.S. by WalletHub's metrics can be attributed to a smaller boom in unemployment overall. Over the latest week of available data Oregon saw the smallest increase in claims year over year. It also saw the smallest increase in claims comparing the latest week to the start of 2020.

Comparing the change in claims from the start of the COVID-19 crisis to the same period last year, the only state that saw a smaller increase in claims than Oregon was Connecticut.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 22300

Reported Deaths: 383
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah5135101
Washington323527
Marion304073
Umatilla236231
Clackamas160749
Malheur85115
Deschutes62111
Lane6113
Jackson5152
Yamhill48313
Lincoln4289
Union3972
Jefferson3924
Morrow3843
Polk33712
Linn30611
Hood River2070
Klamath2062
Wasco1973
Benton1816
Douglas1591
Josephine1302
Columbia1031
Coos910
Clatsop870
Crook511
Baker450
Tillamook350
Lake320
Wallowa201
Curry170
Sherman160
Harney110
Gilliam40
Grant40
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 597984

Reported Deaths: 10870
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2144255113
Riverside43983853
Orange42171769
San Bernardino38290555
San Diego33393608
Kern25499187
Fresno18344191
Alameda14548216
San Joaquin14276245
Sacramento13216194
Santa Clara13059207
Tulare11847205
Stanislaus11592182
Contra Costa10482151
Imperial9957257
Ventura879093
San Francisco794467
Santa Barbara708373
San Mateo6640122
Merced622474
Monterey580340
Marin558381
Kings512762
Solano441441
Sonoma385951
Madera275944
Placer248627
San Luis Obispo232418
Yolo191845
Santa Cruz13576
Butte13058
Napa114211
Sutter10417
El Dorado7932
San Benito7734
Lassen6940
Yuba6884
Mendocino48910
Shasta47610
Glenn4363
Colusa4015
Nevada3571
Tehama3051
Humboldt2994
Lake2672
Amador19810
Calaveras1611
Mono1601
Tuolumne1592
Inyo1155
Siskiyou1090
Del Norte1040
Mariposa632
Plumas380
Trinity60
Modoc50
Sierra50
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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