Oregonians who are waiting for jobless benefits to kick in, have been waiting longer than people in many other states, according to new research.
The Oregonian’s analysis of federal data shows Oregon moved more slowly than most states on processing the flood of jobless benefits claims during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. Tens of thousands of laid-off workers have been waiting weeks or months for their money.
While every state struggled with waves of layoffs due to COVID-19, Oregon’s response was among the slowest in the country, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
In Oregon Employment Acting Director David Gerstenfeld’s most recent update he said, “We’ve been trying everything we can to speed up people getting their benefits.”
He insists the state’s making progress. “We’re now handling most parts of the benefit processes as quickly or even quicker than we ever have before. Most of the roadblocks for us getting people benefits as quickly as possible have been removed,” said Gerstenfeld.