OSU delays graduation; state jobless claims soar amid COVID

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Initial unemployment claims in Oregon have spiked to more than a quarter-million in the past three weeks due to the coronavirus. The Oregon Employment Department says they have received 269,000 initial claims for jobless benefits. For comparison, net job losses in Oregon totaled 147,800 for the duration of the Great Recession. The agency paid $28 million in benefits to Oregonians the week of March 29. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, continued to see the greatest number of initial claims for unemployment benefits. Amid the economic turmoil, Oregon State University says it will postpone its commencement ceremonies at its Corvallis and Bend campuses.