(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.