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Oregon weekly jobless benefits increase

Yearly rise tied to change in weekly wages

The amount paid to people filing for unemployment insurance benefits has increased, effective Monday. The maximum weekly benefit amount someone can receive increased from $624 to $648, while the minimum amount rose from $146 to $151.

The change affects new unemployment insurance claims filed on or after June 30. Those with existing unemployment insurance claims will continue to receive the same weekly amount they have been receiving.

Oregon's Unemployment Insurance program provides temporary, partial wage replacement for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The income provided to unemployed workers partially stabilizes the economy in local communities experiencing high unemployment during economic downturns.

The Unemployment Insurance program also promotes reemployment and the preservation of a trained, local workforce for businesses during economic downturns. The Unemployment Insurance program administers unemployment insurance benefits, such as federal extensions when they are available, and other specialized programs with partners that include the United States Department of Labor and other state agencies.

Under Oregon law (ORS657.150(4)), each year the Oregon Employment Department recalculates the maximum and minimum amounts of unemployment insurance benefits people can receive. The amounts are set as percentages of the average weekly wage earned by Oregonians. The minimum benefit amount is 15% of average weekly wage, and the maximum amount is 64%. Both dollar amounts are rounded down to the nearest dollar, as required by law.

Higher wage growth in 2018 resulted in a 3.4% increase to the minimum weekly benefit and a 3.8% increase in the maximum weekly benefit ,compared to a year ago.


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