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Oregon Employment Department’s economic website back online after state seems to have neglected to renew domain registration

The department's website for posting economic data went away over the weekend. It was back up and running Monday evening.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Employment Department's website for posting economic data went away over the weekend, apparently because the state didn't renew the registration for its domain name. 

The loss of Oregon's qualityinfo.org page didn't affect unemployment claims, which are managed on a separate website, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

After an inquiry from the newspaper, the department said it renewed the domain name and said the site would be back by Monday evening. 

But the outage is another embarrassing technological lapse for the department, which stumbled repeatedly last year amid a flood of jobless claims triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: 'Just not acceptable': Laid off Oregonians frustrated that employment department phone lines are still backed up

Qualityinfo.org hosts the employment department's monthly announcement of the state's unemployment rate, information about regional economic conditions and analysis by the department's economists. Business owners, lawmakers and others use the data to make decisions about strategy and policy.

"QualityInfo.org is an important resource for researchers, policymakers and the general public," the employment department said in a statement. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Technical troubles are endemic at the employment department, which relies on an obsolete 1990s computer system to process and pay jobless claims. That system is the main reason Oregon was among the slowest in the nation to pay jobless claims during the pandemic.

RELATED: Oregon’s antiquated computers could cost laid-off workers more than $100 million in benefits

The state signed a contract last month with Colorado-based FAST Enterprises to perform a system upgrade, which officials say will be online in 2024.

RELATED: Why are Oregon businesses struggling to find people to hire?

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