COVID-19 outbreak prompts unemployment claims surge
Unemployment insurance claims have surged in recent weeks statewide and in Central Oregon as closures from the COVID-19 outbreak force numerous layoffs.
According to Damon Runberg, Central Oregon's regional economist for Oregon Employment Department, during the week ending March 28, the Oregon Employment Department received 92,700 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. That represented a 21 percent increase from the previous record from the week ending March 21. By comparison the agency received 4,900 initial claim filings during the week ending March 14 (before the COVID crisis began).
In Central Oregon, for the week ending March 28, there were 3,371 unemployment insurance claims processed for Central Oregon residents, up from 1,543 the week prior. The largest number of claims processed were in accommodation and food services, health services, manufacturing and construction.
Of the total 4,914 claims processed between March 15-28, 1,600 have come from the accommodation and food services industry, far outpacing the next highest total of 782 in health care and social assistance. Claims from the manufacturing industry totaled 514 during the same timeframe, followed by 469 from the construction industry. Retail and trade rounds out the top five with 384 processed claims. Lowest on the list of 17 different industries is 13 for finance and insurance, 32 for agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, 39 for transportation and warehousing.
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