Columbia Basin Initial Claims by IndustryMay 20, 2020 As of May 9, 2020, initial claims for Oregon unemployment insurance benefits reached nearly 400,000. COVID-19 business closures, which began in mid-March, have resulted in claims ranging from a peak of 88,600 during the week ending March 28th to a low of 14,100 (week ending May 9th).
The greatest number of initial claims continue to come from the accommodation and food services sector, with 68,400 initial claims filed in the industry since March 15. Other sectors with the largest number of initial claims include health care and social assistance (43,100) and retail trade (36,400). However, every sector of the economy has seen increased claims activity.
Here in the Columbia Basin, the number of initial unemployment claims processed during the week ending May 9th dialed back somewhat to about 320, a drop of around 510 compared with the week of April 4th. Over the eight-week period from March 15 to May 9, initial unemployment insurance claims in the Columbia Basin totaled about 4,100. However, the actual number of claims filed by Columbia Basin residents was likely higher than the 4,100 claims processed.
At the county level, Umatilla County’s initial claims reached 3,790 or 92 percent of the area’s total. Morrow County’s initial claims totaled about 320 or 8 percent of all claims processed for the Columbia Basin.
Accommodation and food services represented about 31 percent of all Columbia Basin’s initial unemployment insurance claims processed, followed by manufacturing which accounted for one out of four claims. Health care and social assistance (11%); retail trade (9%); construction (4%); other services (3%); and agriculture (2%) together represented 29 percent of the Columbia Basin’s initial claims.
Almost nine out of 10 (86%) initial claims for regular unemployment benefits received between March 15 and May 9 have been processed. For each of the past five weeks, more claims for regular benefits have been processed than received in Oregon.