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Claims Activity & Job Openings Week Ending February 20, 2010
02/26/2010
CONTACT:   Tom Fuller
503.947.1301
Thomas.E.Fuller@state.or.us  
or
Craig Spivey
503.947.1303 
Craig.C.Spivey@state.or.us
 

 This WeekLast WeekThis WeekLast Week
 
2010
2009
2010
2009
Initial Claims
8,960
12,641
10, 285
14,258
Individuals on Regular Unemployment Benefits
105,226
124,658
107,536
124,371
Individuals on Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)
98,117
31,999
97,875
31,279
Total individuals on unemployment benefits (including all programs)
213,204
162,417
214,844
160,522
Total benefit payments
$64,630,609
$44,638,146
$65,091,192
$43,420,321
Unemployment Insurance trust fund balance (In millions)
$949.76
$1,808.87
$960.25
$1,843
Average Unemployment Check
$290.95
$285.60
$291.39
$281.73
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The total number of initial claims fell for the third consecutive week to its lowest level since the week ending October 16, 2009.  The total number of individuals on regular unemployment claims has also slipped the last three weeks, hitting its lowest total since the week ending December 25, 2009. 

While initial claims have declined, the number of individuals on Emergency Unemployment Compensation (federal unemployment extensions) continues to increase, standing at its highest level of 98,117.  However, the total number of individuals receiving unemployment benefits has declined slightly. The 213,204 individuals claiming benefits are down by 1,640 from a week ago, but 50,787 more than the same week a year ago.

The Oregon Legislature passed the Oregon Emergency Benefits (OEB) program.  Once the bill is signed by the governor, OEB will allow up to six weeks of additional benefits for individuals who have exhausted all benefits.  The Oregon Employment Department estimates 18,000 individuals will be covered over the life of the OEB program.

Historically, initial claims begin to decrease in the spring as Oregon employers ramp up hiring.  Last year bucked that trend as unemployment claims continued at a high level through the summer.  It will be worth watching to see if initial claims for unemployment benefits continue to decline.

The Oregon Employment Department has seen a slight increase in employer activity. iMatchSkills.org (a service of WorkSource Oregon) currently has 4,724 total job listings representing 11,870 job openings.  This is the third consecutive week of increases in job listing activity.  All job openings may be viewed online at www.WorkingInOregon.org, click on “Browse Jobs” on the right-hand menu.

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