Employment Department

Present Duties

Employment Building
The Employment Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Employment Department. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
The mission of the Employment Department is to support business and promote employment by providing unemployment insurance benefits to those who are out of work through no fault of their own, by matching qualified job seekers to businesses who need their skills and by providing timely and accurate economic and labor market information.

With the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935, the federal government laid the groundwork for the unemployment insurance program. The State Unemployment Compensation Commission was formed in 1935 and, in January of 1938, the first unemployment check, for $15, was issued to James H. Allen in Ontario.

In 1957, a division was formed to research and collect unemployment and economic data. That Research Division was combined with the State Employment Service and the State Unemployment Compensation Commission to form the Department of Employment in 1959.

In 1971, the Legislature established the Department of Human Resources (DHR), with Employment as one of its divisions. The Employment Division operated within DHR until 1993, when Governor Barbara Roberts signed legislation to form the Employment Department.

Today, the department employs approximately 1,200 staff providing vital services to Oregonians, including managing the state’s unemployment insurance program, offering job search assistance to individuals, helping businesses find quality workers, providing up-to-date labor market information and providing fair and impartial administrative hearings.

Agency Website

Agency Subdivisions

Information about this agency's divisions, offices, programs, etc.

Contact Information

Mailing Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Telephone: 503-947-1470; Toll-free: 1-800-237-3710
Fax: 503-947-1472
General Email: Oed_info@oregon.gov
Contact: Kay Erickson, Director
Administrative Rules Coordinator Email: Cristina Koreski
Records Officer Email: Cristina Koreski
Staff Directory from Oregon.gov
Location Map: by Google Maps

Legal and Legislative Information

Statutory Authority: ORS 657.601
Budget Analysis - by Legislative Fiscal Office
Audit Reports - select agency from menu

Records, Publications and General Information

Agency History - a detailed history of the agency
Records Retention Schedule - a list of the public records kept at the agency

State Archives Holdings from This Agency

The following are selected abbreviated listings from the holdings of the Oregon State Archives. Additional records may be available. These records may be viewed free of charge at the State Archives Building in Salem. Copies are available for a fee. Take the Web tour for more information about visiting or ordering copies from the Oregon State Archives.
Title: Administrative Correspondence
Dates: 1942-1946
Cubic Ft.: 18
Title: Annual Reports
Dates: 1938-1971
Cubic Ft.: .5
Title: Informational Representative's records
Dates: 1935-1958
Cubic Ft.: 12
Title: Manpower Coordinating Committee Cooperative Area Reports
Dates: 1962-1968
Cubic Ft.: 1
Title: Minutes
Dates: 1945
Cubic Ft.: .1
Title: Publications
Dates: 1943-1946
Cubic Ft.: 9
Title: Report of Current and Anticipated Employment
Dates: 1944-1946
Cubic Ft.: .25
Title: Reports
Dates: 1944-1946
Cubic Ft.: 1
Title: Unemployment Compensation Commission Application Cards
Dates: 1944-1946
Cubic Ft.: 18
Title: Unemployment Compensation Commission Bulletins and Publications
Dates: 1947-1959
Cubic Ft.: 7
Title: Unemployment Compensation Commission Minutes
Dates: 1935-1971
Cubic Ft.: 2
Title: Weekly Progress Reports
Dates: 1944-1946
Cubic Ft.: 1.25