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Oregon sets another record with 100,700 unemployment claims

269,900 Oregonians have filed unemployment claims in the past three weeks.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A record 100,700 Oregonians filed for unemployment insurance last week, according to statistics released Thursday by the Oregon Employment Department.

269,900 Oregonians have filed unemployment claims in the past three weeks. The state has set a new record each of the past three weeks, with last week’s numbers topping the prior week of 92,700, which had topped the prior week’s record of 76,500.

Last week, $28 million in unemployment benefits were paid out to Oregonians.

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The Oregon Employment Department has detailed information for 54,500 of the 100,700 claims from last week. The following data is derived from information gleaned from the 54,500 claims for which OED has detailed information.

The counties with the largest number of claims were Multnomah County (12,100), Washington County (6,600), and Lane County (5,300).

For the third week in a row, the highest number of claims — 14,400 last week — continue to come from the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants. Last week also saw a high number of claims in the health care and assistance sector (8,800) and retail trade sector (7,100).

Here's some other important information released Thursday by OED:

  • The federal CARES Act payments of $600 will start processing through Oregon’s system by the end of this week
  • OED has quadrupled its staff in the past month to handle the increase in claims
  • OED's newly designed COVID-19 web page has expanded resource guides for employers and workers
  • OED is working on implementing the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The PUA benefits allow self-employed, contract workers and gig workers to receive unemployment benefits
  • The easiest and fastest way to file for unemployment benefits is online.
  • For those unable to file online, contact center hours have been extended to 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays for filing claims by phone. Even with the large expansion of staff to take claims, wait times are still averaging 106 minutes.

“Tuesday I called 32 times. I finally got through to a recording. And I set that phone there and turned it on speaker and listened to their music and their recording for just over two-and-a-half hours. At which time they hung up,” said Susan Jarmin. She's cleaned teeth as a dental hygienist for over 40 years but was let go when her office closed in March.

Nationally, a staggering 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the past three weeks. Numbers released Thursday morning showed that 6.6 million American workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.

That means more than 1 in 10 U.S. workers have been forced out of a job since the crisis took hold, the biggest, fastest pileup of job losses since record-keeping began in 1948.


To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to Oregon.gov/employ or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI. For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to WorkSourceOregon.org.

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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