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News Releases
Update on rollout of Frances Online for Unemployment Insurance benefits - 03/28/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

March 28, 2024

Media Contact:   

Seth Gordon
communications@employ.oregon.gov 

March 28, 2024, Oregon Employment Department Media Statement 

Update on rollout of Frances Online for Unemployment Insurance benefits

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is now in its fourth week of using Frances Online for Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits. 

With preliminary data for the week of March 17-23 now available, the transition to the new system continues to track with overall expectations, as most claimants are using Frances Online to file their claims. 

The preliminary data for last week shows that OED:

  • Paid out over $14.9 million in UI benefits.
  • Received 30,656 total weekly claims.
    • Of these, 29,713 were for the prior benefit week ending March 16, 
      • This is the metric we report in our weekly media dashboard
      • This is down slightly from the previous week (30,006) but has stabilized since the launch of Frances Online and is in line with seasonal trends. 

At 89 percent, the ratio of claimants who filed online using Frances rose for the second week in a row, climbing two points from 87 percent. 

“We are pleased to see that more and more people are using Frances Online and getting used to the new system,” Unemployment Insurance Director Lindsi Leahy said. “At the same time, call volume and wait times for our Contact Center remain high and we acknowledge the frustration that causes our customers. We are working as quickly as we can to answer questions and provide the support they need. We also want to remind customers of all the ways to contact us, including sending a message from their Frances Online account, or using our online Contact Us form, chatbot, and live chat in multiple languages. We will continue to monitor the system, listen to customer feedback, and make improvements to give Oregonians a better level of customer service.”

Agency Director David Gerstenfeld explained what obstacles the agency is facing as it strives to improve customer service. 

“Our biggest challenge is that we still have significant workloads and we lack the federal funding to hire enough people to provide the customer service Oregonians deserve. We are very grateful to the Oregon State Legislature for its support during the 2024 session.” 

Earlier this month, the Legislature passed House Bill 4035, which is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature. It will provide additional administrative funding for 72 positions, but customers won’t feel the impacts until the second half of the year.

The power of information

The Oregon Employment Department’s Workforce and Economic Research Division has long been known as a national leader in its field, and it’s now gaining international recognition. The division develops workforce and economic information and tools, which it shares with local governments, businesses, the media, educational institutions, and the public via QualityInfo.org

After Research Director Bob Uhlenkott shared OED’s approach to supporting job listings with detailed labor market information with the World Bank earlier this year, his team was invited to give a formal presentation for government staff and policymakers in Uruguay and Argentina on March 20.  

With support from projections economist Sarah Cunningham and regional economist Nicole Ramos, workforce analyst Henry Fields delivered the presentation in Spanish via teleconference. The focus was to highlight best practices and innovative methods of providing labor market information to support career exploration and job searches using real-time job listings for the Argentinian and Uruguayan governments. Henry also shared insights on how Oregon’s advancements in this field are shaping policymaking and service delivery in a rapidly changing world.  

“This was an amazing opportunity for our team,” Uhlenkott said. “We’re happy to share the lessons we’ve learned in Oregon with leaders from around the world, but I’m especially proud to see our team’s world-class work receive some of the recognition that it deserves.”

Next OED Media Briefing April 17

After hosting weekly media briefings about the rollout of Frances Online since early February, OED will return to holding monthly media briefings moving forward. The next media briefing will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, when OED will release the statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March. Monthly briefings will coincide with the scheduled release of state unemployment rate and employment survey data. Information about the roll out of Frances Online for Unemployment Insurance benefits and other relevant updates from OED will be included at those briefings as needed. As always, members of the media are welcome to contact the Communications Office at communications@employ.oregon.gov with information and interview requests. 

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov. 

Press Release: Oregon's Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 4,400 in February - 03/20/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 20, 2024

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Gail Krumenauer, State Employment Economist
(971) 301-3771
Video and Audio available at 10 a.m.
David Cooke, Economist (971) 375-5288

Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 4,400 in February

 

In February, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,400 jobs, following a revised loss of 5,700 jobs in January. February’s gains were largest in professional and business services (+1,000 jobs) and in health care and social assistance (+900 jobs). Five other major industries each expanded by between 600 and 700 jobs. Manufacturing (-600 jobs) was the only major industry with a substantial number of job cuts in February. 

 

Health care and social assistance continued its robust expansion, employing 292,300 jobs in February, which was a gain of 25,900 jobs in the past 24 months. Nursing and residential care facilities and social assistance both grew by 8% in the past 12 months.

 

Over the most recent 12 months, jobs edged lower. Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,900 jobs, or -0.1%, between February 2023 and February 2024. The private sector cut 11,300 jobs, or -0.7%, over the most recent 12-month period. Job losses in four major industries stood out, each down by between 3,400 and 9,300 jobs. These industries are information; professional and business services; manufacturing; and retail trade. Four other major industries had smaller losses, between 500 and 1,900 jobs. In contrast, health care and social assistance was up 13,800 jobs, or 5.0%, while government was up 9,400 jobs, or 3.1%, in the 12 months through February.

 

While Oregon’s job growth has been close to flat in the 12 months ending in February, with a decline of 0.1%, U.S. jobs grew by 1.8% with gains in every month of that period. 

 

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.2% in February and 4.1% in January. It has remained in a historically low range between 3.4% and 4.2% for more than two years, back to October 2021. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.9% in February and 3.7% in January.

 

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Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 26, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Wednesday, April 17.

 

Media Advisory: Oregon Employment Department to host Media Briefing March 20, 2024 - 03/18/24

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
March 18, 2024 

Media Contact:  
Communications@employ.oregon.gov   


***MEDIA ADVISORY*** 

Oregon Employment Department to Host  
Media Briefing Wednesday, March 20, 1 p.m. 
 

WHO:                 Karen Madden Humelbaugh, Paid Leave Oregon director; Lindsi Leahy, Unemployment Insurance director; David Gerstenfeld, Oregon Employment Department director 

WHEN:             Wednesday, 1 p.m., March 20, 2024 

WHAT:              The Oregon Employment Department is hosting a video-conference media briefing to share data from the Paid Leave Oregon program and updates on the rollout of Unemployment Insurance benefits in Frances Online.  

WHERE:          Via Zoom video conference: Members of the media must RSVP by emailing Communications@employ.oregon.gov by noon on Wednesday, March 20. We will provide video conference login information to all reporters who RSVP. RSVPs must indicate if the reporter wants to ask a question of the presenters. 
 
After the briefing concludes, we will email the link to the video recording to reporters who RSVP’d. 

OTHER:           The Oregon Employment Department updates its agency dashboard each week. Visit oregon.gov/employ/NewsAndMedia for our latest news releases, video and audio clips, and the latest data for Unemployment Insurance, WorkSource Oregon, and Paid Leave Oregon.  

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The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken-language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.

Attached Media Files: 3.20_Briefing_Advisory.pdf