Pandemic Dramatically Upends Oregon's Employment Numbers

May 19, 2020

“Devastating.”  That’s how Oregon’s Employment Economist describes April’s unemployment figures.

Near-empty downtown Eugene streets.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

Gail Krumenauer says the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken a toll on Oregon’s workforce.

“In a month’s time, we went from a near record low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent to the highest unemployment rate we’ve ever seen.  As of April, it is 14.2 percent," explains Krumenauer.  

"And that is truly unprecedented.  In just a month’s time, a quarter of a million jobs were either temporarily or permanently lost in the state.”

No sector of Oregon’s economy saw gains in April.  1 out of 2 jobs in leisure and hospitality were lost.

Krumenauer says she can’t speculate on whether easing of pandemic restrictions will mean better figures for May.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.