Oregon's economy has long been a roller coaster, outperforming most states in good times and underperforming them in bad times.

But the economic statistics that measure the impact of COVID-19 are like nothing officials have seen before.

The Oregon Employment Department today released figures for April, including a graph of state unemployment that shows a dizzying rise from near-record lows in March to the highest levels of joblessness recorded since the state began keeping track in 1976.

"Today's release shows that 266,600 jobs were lost in the first two months of this pandemic and the unemployment rate has reached 14.2 percent," said Anna Johnson, senior economic analyst with the department. "While these numbers make for shocking historical records, they cannot totally capture the economic trauma so many Oregonians are experiencing at this time."

The only good news—at least for now, Oregon's unemployment rate is lower than the national average, which is 14.7 percent.