Among the most visible and Catastrophic impacts of This State’s stay-at-home order to safeguard us from your health catastrophe presented by COVID-19 continues to be mass layoffs. Tens of millions of initial unemployment insurance claims were registered throughout the country in the first 12 months of the crisis. Here in Oregon, about 450,000 first claims for conventional unemployment insurance were obtained in the first 12 weeks, greater than 20% of the statewide workforce.

The Employment Department took some heat early on in the pandemic to not allow claims Experts to work from home, just like other employees.

During “normal” times, we would usually not talk too much About unemployment insurance claims. Even during our last recession in 2008, the growth in unemployment insurance claims was relatively slow. The rapid onset of the COVID-19 limitations meant that our conventional economic indicators, such as total nonfarm employment or the unemployment rate, may not immediately demonstrate the harshness of this financial blow. That put us with the unemployment insurance claims data as one of the few indicators in the jolt’s initial weeks that could help us understand the crisis’s magnitude. That altered with the April jobs numbers, published in May, which echo the unemployment insurance claims trends and reveal record-shattering job losses in almost 270,000 jobs during March and April.

We now have 12 weeks of processed first claims data. It represents over 357,000 initial claims, a big enough group for us to draw some conclusions about businesses, regions, and populations most affected at the start of the crisis.

Let us begin with the regional distribution of these initial unemployment insurance claims. Unsurprisingly the most populated counties have the most significant number of initial unemployment insurance claims, together with Multnomah County (82,218 shares) and Washington County (45,598 claims) from the Portland Metro range-topping the list of counties with the maximum number of requests processed. But, we could see a clearer image of the hardest-hit counties by looking at the number of initial claims as a share of their overall pre-COVID labor force. Counties with large accommodation and foodservice industries and tourism destinations would be the most challenging hit. The number of preliminary claims in Lincoln County represented almost 25 percent of the labor force and 24 percent of Clatsop County’s labor force. Deschutes County had the top share of unemployment insurance requests in Oregon’s metropolitan counties, accounting for over 19 percent of the Bend MSA workforce.

The counties impacted 12 weeks to the crisis is the least populated in the country. They’re likely ranked so low because of the smaller local labor concentration in restaurants or other businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 limitations, including health services and retail trade.

As anticipated, accommodation and food services have Been the most challenging hit sector throughout the present crisis, with initial claims processed within the previous 12 weeks indicating 40 percent of statewide employment in the industry. The Arts, entertainment industry, and recreation was the next hardest hit as museums, ski resorts, zoos, and other recreation businesses have seen or closed their operations considerably curtailed. Another tough hit business is”other services,” including personal care services such as fitness and gym trainers, childcare and social workers, hair barbers/stylists, massage / facial therapists, and pet shop groomers.

The large number of first Unemployment insurance claims being processed in construction, healthcare, and manufacturing is possibly more surprising. These were businesses that, at first glance, would seem more insulated from the original COVID-19 constraints. Health care displaying large numbers of layoffs during a health emergency might appear perplexing; however, many health-related businesses aren’t working on the front lines of their COVID-19 response like dentist offices, ambulatory health services, medical labs, and operation centers. Starting on May 1, optional procedures are being allowed throughout the state. We’re already beginning to see the share of unemployment insurance claims from medical care fall as layoffs slow drastically and these companies reopen.

Layoffs in building and manufacturing are probably a result of many of these companies’ inability to implement practical social distancing requirements. However, as this crisis continues, layoffs are becoming more and more because of demand shock from less consumer spending. The one commonality among those hardest hit industries is an inability for many endeavors to transition into work from home environment and workplaces’ layout that creates social distancing much tricky.

Even Though these COVID-related layoffs are spread across all industries, it’s becoming evident that the most vulnerable Oregonians are being affected more significantly. Lower-paying occupational groups submitted mostly higher stocks of layoffs than higher-paying professional companies. The occupational groups with an average hourly rate of less than $20 an hour represented approximately 66 percent of overall preliminary claims for unemployment insurance processed within the initial 12 weeks. This means a more generous share compared to 58 percent of statewide employment these lower-paying jobs account for. Meanwhile, the highest-paying occupational groups, people with a median hourly rate greater than $30, represent almost 14 percent of preliminary claims processed but 22 percent of total employment.

When comparing the level of schooling for recent Unemployment insurance claimants compared with the educational attainment of the whole labor force, it is apparent that people with lower levels of education have been hit especially hard. This is probably a reflection of the industries most affected by COVID-19 associated closures, such as leisure time and hospitality, construction, retail, and manufacturing, that have a greater concentration of employees with a high school degree or less. Approximately 56 percent of recent unemployment insurance claims were by people with a high school degree or less, a significantly higher share than 28 percent of the labor workforce they account for.

The age division of the unemployment insurance claimants Is relatively typical of the labor force more broadly, with a few exceptions. Those ages 25 to 34 have been especially hard hit. They accounted for approximately 28 percent of all unemployment insurance claimants before 12 weeks, but just 23 percent of the whole labor force. This age group accounts for a more significant share of those jobs in industries most affected by COVID-19 associated closures. It might also be that this group represents workers earlier in their career, and they were more vulnerable to layoffs than higher-level managers or managers. The youngest workers (ages 16 to 19) appear to be the least affected, accounting for just 2% of total claimants. But this is probably a manifestation of lack of unemployment insurance coverage for these young employees who have fewer insured hours in the computer system.

While filing for unemployment benefits, claimants are requested Their sex, race, and ethnicity. These questions aren’t mandatory, leading to a substantial quantity of non-response. For example, this early look at the data only includes sex information for approximately 54 percent of those 357,000 first claims processed. The first claims processed for guys (98,007) were slightly higher than those processed for girls (94,107). But before the COVID crisis, women represented only 36 percent of all unemployment insurance claimants. Since March 15, they have represented almost half of those claims that included sex.

According to data in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, women represent the vast bulk of employed workers in many of the industries hardest hit by recent layoffs, such as accommodation and food services (57%); healthcare and social assistance (76 percent ); and additional services (55 percent ). With girls also representing a more significant share of layoffs than is average, girls are likely disproportionally affected by those COVID layoffs.

You will find similar non-response problems with race. Roughly 20 Percentage of the unemployment insurance first claims with some demographic information didn’t include race. Furthermore, no unemployment insurance claimants have coded to the “two or more races” classification. Without those non-responses, the racial and ethnic breakout of this COVID jobless looks quite similar to Oregon’s workforce who identifies as one race. However, similar to sex, it’s hard to definitively state that all ethnic and racial groups are being affected similarly relative to their size. The non-response speed is large enough to leave open any doubt.


This is a tricky time for lots of people. In addition to the Emotional toll this worldwide pandemic is taking, many of our fellow Oregonians Are also struggling with the financial realities of developing on unemployment. The state of Oregon Employment Department is here to serve up in this time of necessity by administering unemployment insurance. Because of the record growth in claims, it takes longer than usual for requests to be processed. The Unemployment Insurance Section is working as quickly as possible to process each claim, and They continue to add employees. They request that you continue to file weekly, and you Will be informed if your request is handled. For further information about Unemployment insurance and updates regarding new national programs, go here to the Oregon Employment Department website.