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Initial Unemployment Claims Slow In Oregon, But Could Rise Again Soon

Oregon Employment Department

The number of initial jobless claims fell to its lowest weekly level since the coronavirus shutdowns began in mid-March. But next week’s figures could show another spike.

About 28,500 people filed initial unemployment claims in Oregon last week. That compares to roughly 80,000 new claims in each of the first three weeks following Governor Kate Brown’s executive order that had a sweeping impact on business in the state.

The combined six-week total now exceeds 362,000 lost jobs. The Oregon Employment Department says the greatest number of initial claims continues to come from the hotel and restaurant industry. That’s followed by the health care field, and retail workers.

While last week’s number was lower, the amount of initial jobless claims is expected to jump again next week. That’s because the state is now accepting unemployment claims from self-employed people and so-called “gig economy” workers.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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