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Experts predict Bend-Redmond area jobless rate could hit 30%

(Update: comments from MoneyGeek, Oregon Employment Dept. economist)

BEND, Ore, (KTVZ) -- The financial experts at MoneyGeek are crunching numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor to forecast the peak unemployment rates for several places across the country, including in Oregon.

According to their findings, the Bend-Redmond area could top out at 30%, meaning nearly 29,000 people would be out of a job due to the coronavirus.

That would be the highest rate in MoneyGeek's report out of eight Oregon regions. The others are Medford (28%), Greater Portland area (27%), Greater Eugene area (27%), Grants Pass (26%), Salem (25%), Greater Albany area (24%) and Corvallis (24%).

So why mightBbend and Redmond be hit the hardest?

Doug Milnes, MoneyGeek’s marketing and communications director, told NewsChannel 21 Wednesday, "This is due to the fact that the Bend-Redmond area has a much higher index of arts, entertainment, recreation jobs as well as accommodation in food service jobs in their economy, which is a sector of the economy that we think is going to be hardest hit."

So far, the Oregon Employment Department reports close to 334,000 insurance claims have been filed across the entire state in the last five weeks. That's 16% of Oregon's workforce.

The Oregon Employment Department estimates 100,000 people have yet to file, and 100,000 current claims have not been processed.

That's why MoneyGeek believes our unemployment rate could peak at 27% in Oregon.

However, Damon Runberg, a regional economist with the Oregon Employment Department, told NewsChannel 21 the peak will be closer to 20%, because not everyone who files for jobless benefits will qualify.

As for when that peak might hit, Runberg expects our numbers will continue to rise through May or June.


Here's a resource guide provided by MoneyGeek to help people survive financially during this pandemic.

Bend / Coronavirus / Deschutes County / News / Redmond / Top Stories
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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.



  1. Thanks Brown for closing the state and causing everyone to lose their jobs and become dependent on the state because you used “models” that would NEVER have come true for a virus that only has a deathrate slightly higher than that of a seasonal flu. Democrats need to get their heads out of their ****** and learn to use common sense.

    1. Give credit where it’s due. Thank the current administration for ignoring warnings about COVID-19 back in January, resulting in thousands of dead Americans. So eager to find any reason to blame anyone but those directly responsible. Shame.

      1. Let’s check the facts: Jan 30 WHO declares a public health emergency. Jan 31 Trumps sets in China travel restriction as the left cries about them being racist.

        Brown shut down the entire economy for 100 deaths. Even if the number is 10 times that amount the collateral damage from the economy shutting down will be magnitudes higher. Do we care about deaths, or just deaths from COVID?

        1. “On January 19, 2020, a 35-year-old man presented to an urgent care clinic in Snohomish County, Washington, with a 4-day history of cough and subjective fever.”

          A whole lot of good that travel ban did. China reported disease related to a novel coronavirus on January 7th. I’m willing to wager United States intelligence had an idea before then.

          1. “I’m willing to wager United States intelligence had an idea before then.”

            And I’m willing to prove that China knew well before December what they had unleashed- that China then engaged in a program of disinformation to hide what they had done- that China knew the virus was contagious- yet still told the world it wasn’t- that China refused to accept US scientists into China to investigate- China refused to share the genetic code for the virus with the US when asked…

            Your scope of vision is quite myopic- take off the blinders and stop making stupid on-line bets you can’t pay off !

            1. “And I’m willing to prove that China knew well before December”
              Let’s see your proof. China doesn’t want to work with the US because a certain someone started a pointless trade war so many years ago. A complete failure and buffoon and you still do everything you can do deflect blame. You should take your own advice and remove the blinders.

              1. Your Proof- Via China’s State owned party magazine “Qiushi’s”-

                “It was on Dec. 10 that Wei Guixian, a seafood merchant in this city’s Hua’nan market, first started to feel sick.”

                Chinese leader Xi stated in a February 3rd speech-

                “I issued demands during a Politburo Standing Committee meeting on Jan. 7 for work to contain the outbreak,” Xi said in the speech. “On Jan. 20, I gave special instructions about the work to prevent and control the outbreak.”

                The Chinese knew for more than a month about the deadly disease- We know now that numerous medical professionals tried to warn the world- only to have Xi’s government shut them down- and force them to treat infected citizens with little or no PPE.

                yet you have the nerve to show up here and run your childish tantrums full of dangerous misinformation without a single scolding by the moderator… you both should be ashamed.

                1. Hold on….
                  “And I’m willing to prove that China knew well before December”
                  And then,
                  “It was on Dec. 10 that Wei Guixian, a seafood merchant in this city’s Hua’nan market, first started to feel sick.”
                  But also,
                  “Chinese leader Xi stated in a February 3rd speech”
                  Your words. And you have not proven anything. But your amazing ignorance and projection are displayed in your last paragraph:
                  “…You have the nerve to show up here and run your childish tantrums full of dangerous misinformation without a single scolding by the moderator… you both should be ashamed.”

                2. The virus has a two week incubation period- meaning this person was exposed in late November… do some research fool !

          2. Oh right, I see the game. So now when one of the top medical experts says that the China travel restrictions probably saved 10s of thousands of lives you all of a sudden question science and medicine? How convenient.

      2. HAHAHA. Ignoring Kung Flu??? As in Trump closing China travel while all the democrats called him a racist xenophobe for that? Or the democrats encouraging people to visit chinatown while the virus was spreading??? Or Dr. Fauci saying Kung flu is not a risk? Or the dozens of media talking heads saying Kung flu is no big deal? Yeah. Keep peddling that lie.

        1. He put a travel ban in effect after the virus was already stateside. Was it a precaution that needed to be made? Sure, maybe. Did it prevent any spread? No. January 7th is when Chinese health officials reported the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Do you think the US didn’t know about it until then? And then waited two and a half weeks to put a travel ban in place?

          1. “Do you think the US didn’t know about it until then?”

            The US (like Italy-Spain-France) was told the virus was not transferable to humans- the WHO assured the planet that this was not serious- just a seasonal annoyance… but you have somehow concocted a wild eyed conspiracy theory to lay blame on the front door of the US ???

            Do you think the Italians- the Spanish- the french- are all giving the stink eye to our President- or a middle finger salute to China ?

      3. The topic is “OREGON”- compared to regular flu seasons here- your dreaded pandemic was nothing more than a lot of hot air- nary a Wuhan in sight !

        And if it’s blame you so desperately seek… try “CHINA” !!!

      4. Sooo, your saying the people directly responsible, witch are the in China?
        You seem confused, because it looks like you are trying to blame someone else.
        To much CNN maybe.

        1. If the current administration did not screw up our standings with the Chinese government, perhaps things could have gone better. Alas, we are stuck with the administration we have, who is in charge of our country and how it handles global matters that affect us.

    2. Republicans, Trump tools and ignorance go hand and hand because they are to stupid to be six foot apart. Brown and other gov’s likely saved lives and make it possible to open sooner. MAGA dies in November!

      1. “Brown and other gov’s likely saved lives and make it possible to open sooner.’

        The data off the OHA website clearly shows that last years flu season was no different (in terms of time lines) than this years…. but how is that possible with all the self quarantine- executive orders closing businesses- and social distancing mandated by the Governor ?????

        Don’t let the science baffle you- just admit that Democrat Governor Kate Brown blew it !!!

        For anyone else looking to exonerate Queen Kate- please look at the stats- and make your own conclusions.

    3. It is literally a no-win situation. If she didn’t shut everything down then when the relatives of people like you die from it, they’ll all want a linchin’. On the other hand if she shuts us down (Following Trump’s recommendations) you still hate her regardless. You hate because that’s what you were taught.

      Have you considered that the death rate is comparable to the Flu simply because of the fact that we’ve shut down? Probably not…

      As much as I dislike Trump and abhor the fact the he has been totally negligent and plugging a drug that has been killing people, this is a nightmare scenario for any leader; you should consider that before you run your mouth.

      1. “Have you considered that the death rate is comparable to the Flu simply because of the fact that we’ve shut down? Probably not…”

        You didn’t bother to look at the website did you ! so many of you get on this site just to spout your hate and anger- without even looking at the data- the science- the logic.

        So again- the data is clear- that last years flu season- and this years flu season mirror each other’s time lines… starting in February-peaking between March 21st and the 23rd- then plummeting… clearly demonstrates that social distancing- executive orders to close businesses- and self quarantine has had no effect on this years ‘epidemic” levels of the seasonal flu !

        How is that possible ?

        Oregonians didn’t take all these precautions last year- there was no executive order to stay home- go broke… so the obvious conclusion is that none of Kate’s mandates had any effect on any ILI (Influenza like Illness) !

        When will KTVZ use this public information and expose Kate Brown for her diabolical role in this devastating scam- what now appears to be a choreographed assault on our US economy by the west Coast Governors (in collusion) from Oregon Washington and California… Idaho sure as hell didn’t participate in this !

        This is criminal !

        1. Ok… you can’t use the words science or logic while ranting about weird Kate Brown/Democrat/West Coast conspiracy theories. Suggesting I came on here to rant despite the fact that I was emphatic towards Trump’s situation as a leader doesn’t make any sense either.

          The first confirmed COVID case in Oregon was Feb 28th (From what I can find). As far as we are aware (since the testing is apparently hit or miss) it hadn’t gained any ground at that point. Since I can’t post pictures (or I’m just too lazy to try to figure out how), check out the timeline/chart in the first link below. The lock-down went into place on Monday March 23rd, conveniently matching the inflection point on the Cases vs Day chart (right side of the web-page). The Curve began to flatten as soon as the lock-down when into place. Is this affected by testing ability/knowledge? Absolutely – to what extent, we cannot tell. But the fact remains, the entire world is in lock-down; 50,000 people have died from COIVD in the use so far in what 6-8 weeks? This approximately matches the upper end for the estimated number of influenza deaths in the US over a 5 month period (20-ish weeks).

          Here is another fun chart (From the OHA) for you since you are trying to use the Flu for justification. Scroll down to Figure 2 on page two. Flu season in oregon began around November, peaked in Dec/January, and tapered off just *before* the executive order to shelter in place. So yea, of course the influenza numbers won’t look different than last year.

          1. Figure 2 is number of flu “tests” !

            I find it odd that you had to scroll right past Figure 1 to get to Figure 2- without a single commentary about what the facts in Figure 1 clearly show… that ILI’s (Influenza Like Illnesses” for last year “mirror” the exact time frames for this year… how is that possible ?

            Did you mask up last year ? Close your business to prevent contact with infected people ?? Did Kate Brown shut down your forests- your cinemas- your Easter parade ???

            Hell No ! Then what explains this “odd” data ?

            Go ahead brainiac- the floor is yours.

        2. BGHWuhan! Did you ever look into counseling? Find a real person to talk to? I’d bet your family would love to hear from you and are willing to help you quit being an internet troll. You’re better than that. Well not now but in time you can be. Hang in there buddy you have so much to live for. Well not now but in time…

  2. Yep! More people are out and about because they got their stimulus money and are spending it like it’s Christmas? These same fools will be hurting when the charity runs out and 1/3 or more of the businesses closed won’t re-open.

  3. I call BS on that number. The new construction around here is still cruising and the Rednecks are soon to take over. In a couple weeks, many businesses will open carefully and with good judgement. The bigger issue is trying to get the entitled off the Gov handout and get them back to work.

  4. If I owned a bar, I would open it right now. Worst they can do is fine you or pull your olcc license….so you keep operating anyways and make so damn much money that you can easily pay off the fines because nobody else has the guts to do it.
    America has become so damn weak.

  5. Boy there are a a lot of stupid people on this forum! The Governor did what she is supposed to do and she saved many lives. Yes the economy will suffer, but how much do value a human life at?

  6. Democrats are socialist idiots!
    Republicans are morons!

    … What you both are is sheep. The politicians both of your parties keep electing are using your weak minds to divide you into two groups that they can continue to count on for votes no matter what stupid shit they do.

    Guess what.. both parties have screwed up the handling of this whole COVID situation, but keep on fighting each other like anyone in this comment section can do anything about it. In november they know you will all just go and vote straight down the party like like you always do .

    The small amount of feel good you get from arguing with your neighbors on a news site makes you feel much better about being a sheep though right?

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