Oregon claims for unemployment insurance benefits rose 46 percent in third quarter of 2008 from the third quarter of 2007. From July to September in 2008, more than 103,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits were filed.
More than 54,000 Oregonians get unemployment insurance benefits but more than 1,000 are exhausting their initial 26-week claim each week.
The Federal government initiated a program in July to provide an additional 13 weeks of benefits for those who qualify. The program ends in March.
Should Oregon experience three consecutive months of unemployment rates averaging 6.5 percent, the state would trigger the Extended Benefits program, which also provides up to 13 weeks of benefits for those who have exhausted their original claim. The unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in August and 6.4 percent in September.
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