The COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis with an economic disaster wrapped inside. Oregon relies heavily on trade, tourism and hospitality, all of which have been hammered as travel and nonessential businesses have closed to comply with Gov. Kate Brown's stay-home order.
Claims show 178,000 Oregonians filed for unemployment in the first two weeks. That's unprecedented in modern Oregon history, says Josh Lehner, a state economist.
Details of those claims are confidential. But one way of tracking layoffs are Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filings, or WARN notices. Companies that employ more than 100 workers must file such notices when they make significant layoffs.
Until the novel coronavirus showed up, WARN notices were pretty rare—employers didn't file a single one in March 2019, for instance. This March, there were 29, covering more than 4,000 jobs.
Lehner says WARN notices only ever capture a small fraction of layoffs but are useful because they provide "detailed public information on how many, which companies, locations and the like."
Here are the 10 biggest WARN filings through April 6.