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Douglas County Commissioners send Governor Brown another letter

Written by on June 9, 2021

Douglas County, Ore. – After joining other counties in sending a number of letters to Oregon Governor Brown in the past regarding COVID-19 mandates due to risk levels, Douglas County Commissioners have drafted and sent their own letter. This time, to confront ‘enhanced’ unemployment benefits the county commissioners believe, if ended will encourage people to return to work.

Commissioner Chris Boice authored the letter that seeks to “Ask Governor Brown to Get People Back to Work and Save our Businesses,” according to a press release sent out by the county Wednesday. In the letter, the county points to some success with holding ‘open air job fairs’ as a way to get people back to work and off of unemployment. The first job fair featured 8 employers, in which only five job seekers attended. On June 1, 2021, the second job fair had twenty-eight employers offering just over 400 jobs. 150 people attended that event.

Not in the letter, but from the county, the press release states;

“The latest letter expresses the county commissioner’s sincere concern for the current and future economic plight of local businesses with regards to the lack of available, willing and motivated individuals to enter or reenter the workforce. The continued extensions of enhanced employment benefits during the pandemic has created a stalemate of applicants for businesses who are in desperate need of workers in order to continue to keep their doors open. The economic future of our local businesses is contingent on the immediate action by the Governor to repair the workforce slump caused by the pandemic and to help in revitalizing Oregon’s economy again.”

press release statement from Douglas County Commissioners June 9, 2021

Douglas County’s unemployment rate skyrocketed to over 14% in March of 2020 as the pandemic created lockdowns and business closures. The unemployment rate did drop in April 2021 almost a full percentage from where it was in March 2021 at 7.5% to 6.8% according to data provided by the State of Oregon.

Read the full letter below

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