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Business and Labor

Rogue Valley Workers Struggle With Complex System Behind Unemployment Benefits

April Ehrlich / JPR News
Nicole Clauson, a caterer, sits on the patio of her apartment outside Talent.

Many local workers and entrepreneurs are struggling to deal with an overburdened unemployment bureaucracy that's hard to navigate, and that sometimes completely fails to deliver badly needed help.

In the Rogue Valley, many previously employed workers were laid off from the tourism and hospitality industries, which have taken a big hit from the pandemic.

JPR reporter April Ehrlich spoke with people in the Rogue Valley who are scrambling to stay afloat as state and federal relief efforts falter. Listen to hear stories from Jessica Hope Prince Kroll, Nicole Klauson, and Edy Wescot, all residents of Talent, about their challenges with unemployment benefits during the pandemic.