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Home > State > Executive > Employment Department > Agency Subdivisions

Employment Department: Agency Subdivisions

The Employment Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Employment Department. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

The Employment Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Employment Department. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

Employment home


Unemployment Insurance Division
Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-947-1330
Fax: 503-947-1668
Contact: David Gerstenfeld, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 657.601

Duties and Responsibilities: Unemployment insurance benefits replace part of the income lost when workers become unemployed through no fault of their own. This softens the impact job losses have on workers and their communities. The division is responsible for paying benefits to eligible claimants in an accurate and timely manner, deciding eligibility issues, discouraging fraud and collecting taxes to fund the program.

The money used to pay Oregon unemployment insurance benefits comes from Oregon employers’ state payroll taxes. The taxes collected are deposited in a trust fund used to pay unemployment insurance benefits to unemployed Oregon workers


Workforce and Economic Research Division
Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-947-1229
Fax: 503-947-1210
Contact: David Yamaka, Interim Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 657.601

Duties and Responsibilities: The division’s team of economists, workforce analysts and researchers collect and analyze statewide and regional labor market information. They help organizations and businesses apply that information in their day-to- day operations. Analysts provide concise, up-to-date information about the local and state economies and their effects on the workforce. Research staff studies the labor force and related topics, supplies data and analysis to new and expanding firms and analyzes occupational supply and demand, which is gathered through surveys sent to employers.

In addition to offering general information, staff produces special reports upon request. Businesses, in turn, use this labor market information to identify challenges and opportunities. Economic development planners, educators and training providers, job applicants, legislators and the news media also regularly rely on this information to learn about workforce issues that affect Oregonians.


Workforce Operations Division
Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-947-1277
Fax: 503-947-1658
Contact: Jim Pfarrer, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 657.601

Duties and Responsibilities: The Workforce Operations Division of the Employment Department serves employers by recruiting workers with skills matching employers’ needs. The department helps job seekers find jobs that match their skills, provides them with information about trends in occupations and refers job seekers to appropriate training programs.

The division partners with the Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, local Workforce Development Boards, local training providers and the Department of Human Services Self-Sufficiency and Vocational Rehabilitation programs to form the state’s workforce system, WorkSource Oregon.

The division also oversees programs aimed at assisting certain groups, such as military veterans, migrant seasonal farmworkers and workers adversely affected by foreign trade.


Other Groups


Office of Administrative Hearings
Address: 4600 25th Ave. NE, Suite 140, Salem 97301; Mail: PO Box 14020, Salem 97309-4020
Phone: 503-947-1918
Fax: 503-947-1920
Contact: Gary Tyler, Chief Administrative Law Judge
Statutory Authority: ORS 183.605

Duties and Responsibilities: The Office of Administrative Hearings was created by the Legislature in 1999 to provide an independent and impartial forum for citizens and businesses to dispute state agency actions against them. Sixty-five professional administrative law judges hold more than 30,000 hearings a year for approximately 70 state agencies. By statute, all administrative law judges are required to be “impartial in the performance of [their] duties and shall remain fair in all hearings.” Oregon is the 22nd state with an independent central panel of administrative law judges.


Employment Appeals Board
Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-378-2098
Fax: 503-378-2129
Contact: Susan Rossiter, Chair
Statutory Authority: ORS 657.685–657.690

Duties and Responsibilities: The three-member Employment Appeals Board is appointed by the governor to review hearing decisions issued in contested unemployment insurance claims cases. The board performs new revisions of 2,500 to 3,000 cases per year, with authority to affirm, modify, reverse or remand for additional evidence the decisions of administrative law judges at the Office of Administrative Hearings. Final written decisions of the board are subject to review by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Employment Department Advisory Council
Address: 875 Union St. NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-947-1361
Fax: 503-947-1472
Contact: Melissa Leoni, Council Staff
Statutory Authority: ORS 657.695

Duties and Responsibilities: The Employment Department Advisory Council includes volunteer representatives of the public, management and labor. Council members are appointed by the governor. The council assists the director of the Employment Department in the effective development of policies and programs with respect to unemployment insurance, employment services and labor market information.

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