Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Oregon House Hearing Today Includes Employment Department Discussion on COVID-19 Impacts. I Have Questions.

The Oregon House Business and Labor Committee has a scheduled meeting today that includes a 1:30 PM discussion of Employment Department impacts from COVID-19; the Department Director is scheduled to testify. 

On the eve of her appearance the Director posted a letter including planned unemployment insurance actions for "Project Focus 100"; that letter is HERE.

Although only invited testimony is permitted, I submitted a letter with suggested questions to the Chair and Vice-Chairs that could clarify some key unemployment insurance issues:
  • How many claimants are actually receiving unemployment benefits,
  • The total amount of those benefits and the average weekly benefit amounts,
  • The extent to which Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation [FPUC; +$600] AND Pandemic Unemployment Assistance [PUA] payments (for gig workers, self employed, and independent contractors) are, or are not, being paid.
My interest in unemployment insurance recognizes that the scale of COVID-19 unemployment insurance provides an income stream that can help pay for housing expenses for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians, eclipsing the level of existing Federal housing assistance in Oregon. 

My letter is HERE.  My prior blog posts with keyword "unemployment" are HERE.

The webpage for the meeting is HERE; meeting materials should be posted HERE.  

The Employment Department COVID-19 unemployment web page is HERE.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog

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