Limited benefits

Unemployment benefits help, but many jobless Oregonians still feel on edge.

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Joblessness in Oregon continues to rise, and it’s a tough rap for residents receiving unemployment. They are glad to get some help, but often the money doesn’t pay all the bills.

The diminished buying power and financial angst that come with unemployment have become a way of life for a rapidly escalating number of Oregonians. One year ago, about 50,000 jobless were on state benefits. Since then, Oregon’s unemployment rate has risen to 12 percent — second highest in the nation — and the number receiving benefits exploded to nearly 170,000. Economists expect that number to rise as the prolonged recession continues to vacuum jobs from the state.

Benefits average $310 a week. As those who receive them can attest, life on unemployment is not exactly the extended paid vacation that some make it out to be.

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