Oregon Weekly Jobs Report, Still Bad but Getting Better


As Oregon gradually reopens after the recent shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekly employment numbers suggest that scores of laid-off workers are returning to work. Also, far fewer people are losing their jobs compared to the last several weeks.  

The number of new jobless claims fell to 8,500 last week according the state employment department. While this is still twice the typical volume, it is quite the drop compared to peak numbers the employment office saw in late March—which at one point reached nearly 90,000 new claims in one week. 

During the last week of May, the number of continued unemployment claims fell to 257,000—a 12% drop from the previous week. The smallest total since mid-April, the figure suggests that thousands of Oregonians are returning to work.   

 Still, this figure is ten times higher than it was before the pandemic.  

“While there was a drop last week in continued claims, the total number of continued claims is still really high and continues to be higher than the peak reached during the Great Recession, employment department economist Anna Johnson told OPB.  

State economists have expressed caution about the latest numbers, warning that full recovery from this economic downturn could take years.  

By JD Brookbank