SALEM, Oregon — Mirroring national statistics, job loss claims in the state last week continued to sharply rise, with 92,700 Oregonians filing for unemployment insurance in the week ending March 28, according to statistics released Thursday by the Oregon Employment Department.
The number of claims topped the prior week of 76,500, according to the Oregon Employment Department. The week before that, 4,900 Oregonians filed jobless claims.
The counties with the largest number of claims were Multnomah (10,900), Washington (5,300), and Lane (4,200). The highest number of claims — 15,500 — came from the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants.
Nationally, more than 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, double the record high from the previous week.
Applications for unemployment benefits generally reflect the pace of layoffs. Combined with last week's report that 3.3 million people sought unemployment aid two weeks ago, the U.S. economy has now suffered nearly 10 million layoffs in just the past several weeks — far exceeding the figure for any corresponding period on record.
The accelerating layoffs have led many economists to envision as many as 20 million lost jobs by the end of April. That would be more than double the 8.7 million jobs lost during the Great Recession. The unemployment rate could spike to as high as 15% this month, above the previous record of 10.8% set during a deep recession in 1982.