News in brief

Weekly unemployment benefits increase

SALEM — The amount paid to people filing for unemployment insurance benefits has increased. The maximum weekly benefit amount someone can receive will increase from $604 to $624, while the minimum amount will increase from $141 to $146.

The change affects new unemployment insurance claims filed on or after July 1. Those with existing unemployment claims will continue to receive the same weekly amount they have been receiving.

Oregon’s Unemployment Insurance program provides temporary, partial wage replacement for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own. The income provided to unemployed workers partially stabilizes the economy in local communities experiencing high unemployment during economic downturns.

Under Oregon law, each year the Oregon Employment Department recalculates the maximum and minimum amounts of unemployment insurance benefits people can receive each week. The amounts are set as percentages of the average weekly wage earned by Oregonians. The minimum benefit amount is 15 percent of average weekly wage, and the maximum amount is 64 percent. Both dollar amounts are rounded down to the nearest dollar as required by law.

Higher wage growth in 2017 resulted in a 3.5 percent increase to the minimum weekly benefit and a 3.3 percent increase in the maximum weekly benefit compared to a year ago.

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