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Oregon Employment Director Describes Programs And Problems

Oregon Employment Department offers video training in claim filing.
Web screenshot
Oregon Employment Department offers video training in claim filing.

Oregon's unemployment rate dropped under ten percent at the end of the summer, but that still means about twice as many people are unemployed now as before the pandemic. And then came fires across the state, burning down businesses and burning down workers' homes.

The Oregon Employment Department has been scrambling to keep up, while offering special programs like Disaster Unemployment Assistance. An antiquated computer system meant to be replaced years ago has added to the woes for people who need money in lieu of paychecks.

David Gerstenfeld is the boss at the agency, visiting to answer our questions.

One bit of breaking news: the director revealed that the deadline for applying for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, related to September fires, has been extended to November 27th.

David suggested using a relatively new Contact Us form now up on the agency website.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.