Unemployment insurance claims are setting new records nationwide and Oregon is no different. The U.S. Labor Department reported 6.6 million this week. In Oregon, nearly 93,000 people filed claims last week according to the Oregon Employment Department. The week before, some 76,500 filed claims. Normally, the department receives about 2,000 claims per week.
The Employment Department has been challenged with keeping up with the skyrocketing demand, and many unemployed workers report being unable to get through to file claims. The governor’s office advises OBI that the department has already doubled staff to 200 and hopes to grow to 400.
The Employment Department encourages anyone who can file an online claim to do so. The agency’s website includes a video with step-by-step instructions for filing online claims specific to COVID-19 situations. Over the past two weeks the Employment Department doubled the number of staff dedicated to taking claims and is in the process of tripling it.