Unemployment Update: Oregon’s Recession And Slow Economic Recovery Is Still A Crisis For Many Struggling In The State

Portland, Ore. – This Covid Economic Recession and slow recovery is still a very real crisis for many Oregonians, and it’s still a crisis for the Oregon Employment Department according to the Oregon Employment Department’s Acting Director. David Gerstenfeld gave us the latest numbers during a news conference this afternoon. The state saw a decent drop in the unemployment rate last month – but it’s still three times what it was back in March when some of the first impacts from the pandemic were being felt. He says they’ve paid out almost four billion dollars so far from all the various assistance programs. There are reportedly only about 1,400 claims that have not been processes yet, the oldest of which is dating back just a couple weeks, to August 5th.
Acting Director Gerstenfeld added that reviewing a record number of claims takes a record number of employees which they now have, working as hard as they possibly can – and he thanked them for helping get Oregonians some of the help they need.

Listen to more from today’s news conference here:

Read more from OED:

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 20,500 jobs in July, following a gain of 57,000 jobs in June. Over the past three months, employers added back 38 percent of the jobs that were cut in March and April.

Over-the-month job gains in July were largest in leisure and hospitality (+7,300 jobs); government (+5,700); retail trade (+3,600); health care and social assistance (+3,100); and professional and business services (+1,900). Meanwhile, three of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in July: construction (-1,900 jobs); manufacturing (-1,500); and information (-1,200).

Over the past five months the major industries were impacted differently by the pandemic. Leisure and hospitality suffered by far the largest job loss during March and April, shedding 118,700 jobs during the outset of the pandemic-induced drop in business. Then, between April and July, the industry regained half of the loss, as it rebounded by 58,900 jobs over the past three months. Three industries regained more than half of their lost jobs. Health care and social assistance regained two-thirds of its lost jobs, with a rebound of 18,700 jobs over the past three months. During that time, two industries regained nearly two-thirds of their lost jobs: other services (+9,300 jobs, or a 63% rebound) and retail trade (+13,900 jobs, or 62%).

However, several key industries experienced substantial job losses in March and April but have not rebounded substantially or have even declined further over the past three months. The following industries shed jobs between April and July: government (-5,200 jobs); manufacturing (-3,100); and information (-1,900). Most of the other major industries have regained fewer than 5,000 jobs each over the past three months while regaining less than a third of jobs lost during March and April. These industries include construction; financial activities; private education; professional and business services; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.4 percent in July from 11.6 percent, as revised, in June. In July, Oregon’s unemployment rate was very close to the U.S. unemployment rate; the U.S. rate dropped to 10.2 percent in July from 11.1 percent in June.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, August 25th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Tuesday, September 15th.

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