Tips For Out-Of-Work Oregonians

The health and safety of workplaces is of utmost importance to the Oregon Employment Department, and the agency’s mission is to support business and promote employment. The Employment Department has guidance available to employers, workers, and job seekers impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus situation.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

The Oregon Employment Department provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits to most workers who are out of work through no fault of their own. To get benefits, workers must meet some requirements. In general, to claim and receive unemployment benefits for a week, workers must be available for work, able to work, and actively look for work they can do. Today the Employment Department enacted temporary rules to give more flexibility in providing unemployment benefits to COVID-19 affected workers.

Unemployment Insurance benefits are available during temporary layoffs related to COVID-19 situations. These benefits occur for employees whose employer stops operation for a short period of time, such as cleaning following a coronavirus exposure, or by government requirement. Workers can get unemployment benefits, and do not need to seek work with other employers if their place of employment will resume operations. To receive benefits, affected workers must still be able to work, stay in contact with their employer, and be available to work when called back. A full resource guide with questions and answers about specific COVID-19 coronavirus-related situations and unemployment benefits is available at This site also has information for filing an online claim.

Economic Impacts

The number of initial Unemployment Insurance claims filed in Oregon rose from approximately 800 on Sunday, March 16 to a total of 18,500 on Tuesday, March 18, 2020. Although we know the COVID-19 coronavirus is causing a reduction in economic activity both nationally and in Oregon, it’s too early for unemployment rate or payroll jobs numbers to show the impact of these employment disruptions. The Employment Department will provide more information online as updated data become available.

For help finding jobs and training resources, contact your local WorkSource Oregon center or go to

To file an online claim for unemployment benefits, go to or call 1-877-FILE-4-UI.

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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