PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The unemployment numbers in Washington and Oregon continue to climb in the ongoing pandemic that has cost 36 million Americans across the country their jobs in the past 8 weeks.
For the week of May 3-9, Washington saw total overall claims increase 20% from the previous week. In raw numbers, a total of 109,425 people filed new claims in Washington state that week. Since the pandemic began, 1,301,564 total unemployment claims were filed in the state.
The state of Washington has paid nearly $2.9 billion in unemployment compensation during this time, officials said.
In Oregon, another 14,100 initial claims for unemployment were filed between May 3-9, the Oregon Employment Department said. Since mid-March, 396,000 Oregon residents have filed for unemployment.
Next week, the OED will launch the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which will provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits to those whose unemployment compensation ran out and who remain unemployed because of the pandemic.
The agency said they have processed nearly 90% of the regular unemployment claims they’ve received since March 15, and have processed more than they’ve received over the past 5 weeks.