Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

New Oregon County-By-County Breakdown Shows the Harm of Not Extending Unemployment Insurance

December 19, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01) released a new county-by-county breakdown of the number of people in Oregon who would immediately lose all of their unemployment insurance on Dec. 28 if Congress fails to extend the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Republicans last week blocked an effort by House Democrats to extend the program into 2014.

Overall, about 20,000 people in Oregon are set to lose their federal extended unemployment insurance coverage immediately on Dec. 28. While around 2,200 of these individuals are likely to be eligible for state benefits based on their work history, up to an additional 29,000 people in Oregon could lose their coverage in the first six months of 2014 if Republicans continue to block an extension of the program.

“This is a gut punch to out-of-work Oregonians right in the middle of the holiday season,” said Blumenauer. “Families in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties in my district will be the first and third hardest hit, respectively, by this failure to extend unemployment insurance. It’s shameful that House Republicans always seem to be able to find time to cut food aid for hungry families or extend giveaways to large agribusiness, but can’t find time to help out families when they need it most.”

"As the numbers show, this economic downturn has been especially cruel to many of our neighbors,” said DeFazio. “The bottom line: jobs are still scarce across the state. While we work on long-term plans to create good-paying jobs in the U.S., it is unacceptable for Republicans to turn their backs on our most vulnerable citizens, all while making sure corporate tax loopholes are left intact."

“It is unconscionable that House leadership did not let us vote on legislation to extend unemployment benefits before adjourning for the year,” said Bonamici. “Even though the Speaker did not keep the House in session to pass an extension, as many of my colleagues and I requested, I will continue to urge him to take this up immediately upon our return in January. I hope we can extend these benefits and provide certainty to those individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.”

Federal extended unemployment insurance took effect in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times since as Americans continue to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Despite the real progress the economy has made since its near collapse in 2008, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs than there were before the recession began and long-term unemployment as a percentage of the unemployed is 37 percent, near historic highs.

Failure to extend federal unemployment insurance would also hurt job growth throughout the nation, costing the economy 240,000 jobs, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisers. The CEA estimates that in Oregon alone, failing to extend the program will cost 3,829 jobs. The county-by-county breakdown, based on the total number of people in Oregon currently receiving federal unemployment insurance, is below. The information was provided by the Oregon Employment Department.

COUNTY # of People Losing Coverage Dec. 28 BAKER COUNTY 64 BENTON COUNTY 204 CLACKAMAS COUNTY 1,705 CLATSOP COUNTY 146 COLUMBIA COUNTY 284 COOS COUNTY 369 CROOK COUNTY 147 CURRY COUNTY 98 DESCHUTES COUNTY 863 DOUGLAS COUNTY 569 GILLIAM COUNTY 6 GRANT COUNTY 35 HARNEY COUNTY 40 HOOD RIVER COUNTY 83 JACKSON COUNTY 1,080 JEFFERSON COUNTY 65 JOSEPHINE COUNTY 490 KLAMATH COUNTY 390 LAKE COUNTY 36 LANE COUNTY 1,604 LINCOLN COUNTY 178 LINN COUNTY 659 MALHEUR COUNTY 69 MARION COUNTY 1,490 MORROW COUNTY 29 MULTNOMAH COUNTY 3,637 OUT OF STATE(WA, ID, & CA) 826 POLK COUNTY 318 SHERMAN COUNTY 5 TILLAMOOK COUNTY 114 UMATILLA COUNTY 363 UNION COUNTY 93 WALLOWA COUNTY 25 WASCO COUNTY 121 WASHINGTON COUNTY 2,358 WHEELER COUNTY 1 YAMHILL COUNTY 482 OUT OF STATE (other states) 1,021 Total 20,067

###