Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Unemployment Insurance Recipients in 2011

In 2011, 326,766 people received more than $1.9 billion in unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in Oregon. This was a reduction of more than $800 million from the record amount of benefits paid in 2010. 

The number of UI recipients is historically high due in part to the 73 weeks of extension benefits available to most claimants. During non-recessionary years, most claimants qualify for only 26 weeks of benefits. Regular claim levels were high, but declined over the year. This indicates that newly unemployed were getting back to work, but the long-term unemployed were still struggling.

In 2011, 42 percent of claimants were compensated for six or fewer months on their claim, while 58 percent received benefits for longer periods. By the end of 2011, over 50,000 people had exhasuted all of their benefits since 2009. Though this number is very high, it represents only 7 percent of those who started a claim and could have exhausted 99 weeks of benefits since 2008. Many claimants are still eligible to claim benefits on older claims, so this percentage is preliminary.

Learn more about unemployment insurance recipients in the full article, written by Economist Mary Bernert ( or (503) 947-1975).

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