Unemployment Claims Jump Expected

Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld is expecting a spike in unemployment claims with the two-week freeze in place, but exactly how big that will be is difficult to tell.  Gerstenfeld says it’s hard to predict because each year at this time there is a regular seasonal increase in filings, and there is not much historical data on pandemics to look back on, but they are estimating 51,000 Oregonians will be impacted.  Gerstenfeld did say the department is in a better position to deal with a surge in claims than at the outset of the pandemic.  He cites better infrastructure, streamlined operations, increased communication and user-friendly on-line options, and most importantly an increase in the number of employees involved in claims processing from 275 to over 1,200.

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