Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Oregon Unemployment Insurance Weekly Benefit Distribution, 1st QTR:16% of Applicants Were Eligible for $157 Minimum and Half Were Eligible for $400 or Less .

As I suspect may be true for others, I previously (and erroneously) assumed that most Oregon unemployment insurance recipients were getting close to the current maximum weekly benefit of $673. 

With the maximum and minimum weekly benefits scheduled for a yearly change after July 4th (see my prior post HERE) it's a good time to look more carefully at the range of unemployment insurance weekly benefit amounts (WBA).

The Oregon's Employment Department quickly responded to my request and provided me with 1st quarter 2021 data on the range of WBA amounts for which nearly 58,000 initial claimants were found eligible. Note this is for the regular program only and does not include PUA or PEUC, nor does the WBA include the $300 current FPUC uniform supplement. 

The data for initial claimants shows: 

16% were eligible for the current minimum WBA ($157).

  • 23% were eligible for $200 or less.
  • 40% were eligible for $300 or less.
  • 54% were eligible for $400 or less.
  • 64% were eligible for $500 or less.
  • 71% were eligible for $600 or less.

24% were eligible for the current maximum WBA ($673).

This means that the increase in minimum and maximum benefit amounts in July could potentially impact the WBA for 40% of new claims filed after July 4th (if this distribution pattern continues).

The table and graph pasted below show the details of this 1st quarter WBA distribution pattern, without FPUC.

WBA Support for Housing Expenses

  • The average WBA of $404 supports a housing expense of $525 a month. 
  • Adding the temporary $300 FPUC increases average WBA by 74% to $704; this increases the affordable housing expense by $390 a month to $915.

The average WBA in the first quarter 2021 was $404. At full time that is equal to any hourly equivalent wage of $10.10 an hour, and $21,008 annually. This annual income would support (at 30% of income) a monthly housing expense of $525 a month. 

Adding the temporary $300 FPUC brings total full time annual income to $36,608, the equivalent hourly wage to $17.60, and an affordable monthly housing expense of $915.

This $915 affordable housing expense is an increase of $390 per month and 74% compared to the $525 affordable housing expense using the $404 average WBA without the FPUC,

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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