Unemployment Report

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The Oregon Employment Department has issued guidance for employers, workers, and job seekers impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.

An executive order for Oregon restaurants and bars halting on-site dining and limiting sales to takeout and delivery came hours after Gov. Kate Brown announced she was not ready to impose a curfew or broader shutdown, despite new federal recommendations against gatherings of 50 or more.

More than 100 chefs, bartenders, bakers, winemakers and more signed an open letter asking the governor to order the blanket closure.

Unemployment insurance benefits

The Oregon Employment Department provides unemployment insurance benefits to must workers who are out of work through no fault of their own.

To get benefits, workers must meet some requirements. In general, to claim and receive unemployment benefits for a week, workers must be available for work, able to work, and actively look for work they can do. On Wednesday, March 18, the Employment Department enacted temporary rules to give more flexibility in providing unemployment benefits to COVID-19 affected workers.

Unemployment insurance benefits are available during temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 situations. These benefits occur for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure, or by government requirement. Workers can get unemployment benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers if their place of employment will resume operations.

To receive benefits, affected workers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer, and be available to work when called back. A full resource guide with questions and answers about specific COVID-19 coronavirus-related situations and unemployment benefits is available at Oregon.gov/employ. This site also has information for filing an online claim.

Economic impacts

The number of initial Unemployment Insurance claims filed in Oregon rose from approximately 800 on Sunday, March 15, to a total of 18,500 by Tuesday, March 17.

Although the COVID-19 coronavirus is causing a reduction in economic activity both nationally and in Oregon, it’s too early for unemployment rate or payroll jobs numbers to show the impact of these employment disruptions.

For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to WorkSourceOregon.org.

To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to Oregon.gov/employ or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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