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Largest number of initial claims came from the accommodation and food services sector since March 15.

PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Empty restaurant tables in downtown Portland have become a symbol of the COVID-19 economic shutdown.Oregon's Employment Department received 19,600 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week of April 26 to May 2.

Department officials said Thursday, May 7, that the agency has received more than 381,800 initial claims since COVID-19 businesses closures began in mid-March. During the last week of April, the largest number of initial claims continued to come from the accommodation and food services sector, with 64,700 initial claims filed in the industry since March 15. Since mid-March, the largest initial claims came from the health care and social assistance industry, about 39,700, and retail trade, about 33,100.

Multnomah (6,500), Washington (3,900), and Clackamas (2,900) counties had the largest number of claims during the week of April 26 to May 2. Officials said the department had handled about 83% of initial claims for regular unemployment benefits received between March 15 and May 2. The department has also processed more than 10,000 applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for the self-employed, contract, gig and other workers not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.


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