Federal benefits for the long-term unemployed expire Saturday. The emergency program started in 2008 in response to the economic crisis. But it did not make the final cut in the budget Congress passed this month. About 18,000 Oregonians will lose their benefits.
Most of the people losing their unemployment benefits in Oregon are concentrated in metro areas. But as a percentage of the population, the eastern part of the state will be hit hardest.
That’s according to Oregon Employment Department spokesman Tom Fuller.
Fuller says those being cut from the rolls are encouraged to use the state’s online resources and go into state Worksource centers for job counseling.
But short of finding a job, he says, there is no other backup plan. He says it’s possible the state legislature might create a new state program for unemployment benefits, which they’ve done in the past.
“It’s also possible that when Congress reconvenes after the holiday break they might reconsider the program and reauthorize it. They’ve also done that in the past.
But we have to take the direction from Congress and then the US Dept of Labor, and until they say so, there’s nothing really we can do,” Fuller said.