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Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Program and Job Openings - February 2011
CONTACT:  Craig Spivey
Oregon Employment Department

Unemployment Insurance
The number of individuals receiving unemployment insurance benefits slowly declined since reaching a peak of more than 226,000 in January 2010. As of the week ending February 19, 2011, almost 50,000 fewer people are receiving  unemployment insurance benefits than for the same week a year ago.
Claims for benefits are down across all programs.  In January, initial claims were down 11% from January 2010.  More encouraging, the number of people exhausting their regular claim for benefits is down 20% over that same period.

As of February 19, 2011
Same Week 2010
Individuals on Regular Unemployment Benefits
Individuals on Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC)
Individuals on Extended Benefits (EB)
Total individuals on unemployment benefits
(all programs)
Total benefits paid out
Unemployment Trust Fund Balance (in millions)
As claims continue to fall and Oregon slowly pulls out of a deep recession, it is a good time to note the health of Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

The UI Trust Fund is forward-funded to provide sufficient resources for 18 months of benefits during recessionary conditions.  To date, 36 states have borrowed federal funds to pay their claimants as their trust funds became insolvent. The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates up to 40 states may have to borrow funds at some point during this economic cycle.

Even after paying out a record $2.8 billion in benefits during 2010, thanks to the state’s tax model and supporting funds from the Federal government for unemployment extensions, Oregon will not have to borrow funds.

Job Openings through iMatchSkills
Recent employer activity through WorkSource Oregon’s WorkSource Centers has reflected the thawing in the state’s economy.

WorkSource Oregon maintains the largest pool of available job openings through iMatchSkills ®, the sysem’s state-of-the-art skills and job matching system.  Over the month, WorkSource Oregon has seen a 16% increase in the number of job listings by employers.  Currently iMatchSkills has 6,778 job listings representing 11,060 job openings.  Here is a breakdown of the top ten openings by occupation and industry: