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 http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/O/OR_OREGON_UNEMPLOYMENT_OROL-?SITE=ORKLA&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT - Herald and News

Oregon jobless rate up slightly in July

By BRAD CAIN  Aug 14, 2006

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon's unemployment rate crept upward in July, but the state's jobs picture remains largely stable and many sectors reported job growth for the month, the Oregon Employment Department said Monday.

In its monthly jobs report, the agency said Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.6 percent last month, "essentially unchanged" from the June rate of 5.4 percent. In all, there were 101,864 Oregonians on the jobless rolls in July, it said.

The state's unemployment rate has been largely stable this year, staying between 5.3 percent and 5.6 percent since January. The U.S. unemployment rate, meanwhile, stood at 4.8 percent in July.

The department said while there were seasonal job declines in areas such as education employment last month, many sectors in Oregon's economy reported job growth.

"Oregon's economy is continuing to expand," said Chris Greaves, a department economist. "Jobs are still being added, but just not at the rigorous pace of a year ago. That mirrors what's happening around the nation."

The department's report said Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment added 3,900 jobs in July, making up for a decline of 3,700 jobs in June. In the past year, payroll employment added 51,500 jobs to grow by 3.1 percent to the current total of 1.7 million jobs.

Construction set a new employment record in July. It added 2,100 jobs for a total of 103,900 jobs, although that was 900 jobs short of seasonally anticipated gains. Construction employment has grown by 9 percent since July 2005.

Last month's construction jobs gains came mainly in the area of new business construction, which includes construction of new office buildings and shopping centers.

Residential building construction employment was flat in July, although the department said it was too early to say whether that is a sign of a long-term cooling off of Oregon's housing market.

In other sectors, leisure and hospitality added 3,800 jobs for the month while trade, transportation and utilities saw 3,000 job gains, both exceeding their typical seasonal gains for the month.

Manufacturing added 2,400 jobs in July, but that was 500 less than had been forecast for the month, the employment agency said.

 
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