EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon’s jobless rate just dropped below 8 percent for the first time since the 2008 recession.
But people are still out of work, and how many of those people in Lane County have exhausted their benefits?
Employment department leaders say the numbers are looking better. If you have fewer unemployed people, you have fewer people who have exhausted their benefits.
Back in 2009, nearly 16,000 people had run out of their unemployment benefits in Lane County. Now the number is closer to 6,000. While that number is better, it’s not zero.
People like Nita Myers says they are still struggling. She exhausted her jobless benefits and doesn’t know what else to do.
“I get the interviews and I get told I’m one of the top five but we chose someone else so that’s always real hard,” Myers said.
Myers has been out of work since 2007. She says her family gets by with Social Security benefits, but it doesn’t cover everything, and she fears losing their home they’ve owned for close to 25 years.
Employment leaders say the baby boomer generation may be struggling to find work because their skills aren’t up to date for the current workforce. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for younger workers. They have to compete with those older workers who have been in the working world much longer.