COVID 19: Initial UI Claims as a Share of the Total Workforce

In the seven weeks after Governor Brown issues a stay at home order in Oregon, Oregon has seen an unprecedented number of initial unemployment claims. More than 326,000 initial claims have been filed in Oregon, with nearly 90,000 filed by residents of Portland Metro.

The impact is not evenly spread across the state. While Portland Metro was home to 42% of Oregon’s jobs in 2019, it has seen just 36% of total UI claims. The disparity varies by sector.

The largest gap between the share of total jobs and the share on unemployment benefits were in Utilities (39%), Management of Companies (21%), Educational Services (20%), Manufacturing (18%), and Transportation and Warehousing (18%). So far, these industries have been less impacted in Portland Metro than in Oregon as a whole.

The two sectors were Portland Metro experienced a larger share of UI claims relative to share of total workforce are Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting, and Other Services. In each case, the discrepancy was less than 2%.

Many of the initial UI claims filed have yet to be processed. The system is just starting to process claims from self-employed and gig workers. Once these claims have been processed, we will have a better picture of the relative impact across the state.

Date posted: 
Monday, May 11, 2020