Oregon jobless rate up
Herald and News 9/16/08
SALEM (AP) — On a day of gloom in the global financial system, Oregon economists reported a darkening jobs picture, with a jump in the unemployment rate and the state’s largest jobs loss in five years.
“The trend is looking like the start of the recession in 2001, when Oregon’s unemployment rate was rising rapidly throughout 2001 — from 5.1 percent to almost 8 percent,” said David Cooke, a state labor economist.
The rate reported for August was still well below 8 percent, but the trend was upward.
Above national rate
For August, it rose from 5.9 percent to 6.5 percent from the previous month — putting it above the national rate of 6.1 percent. It is Oregon’s highest rate since January 2005.
The Oregon Employment Department said Monday that the state’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment fell by 7,400 in August after a gain of 5,200 in July.
The last time the state lost more than 7,400 jobs in a month was in April 2003, Cooke said, when nonfarm payroll employment dropped 8,800, seasonally adjusted.
Four major groups posted substa ntia l seasonally adjusted job losses in August:
n Trade, transportation and utilities, down 3,600. E mploy ment i n r et a i l and wholesale trade both dropped.
n Construction, down 1,000 jobs. The sector added only 700 jobs in August, when it usually gains 1,700. In 12 months, construction has dropped 11,300 jobs, more than 10 percent.
n Financial activities, down 1,300. Employment in real estate was down 900 for the month.
n Professional and business services, down 1,400.
Education and health services posted job gains.
In August, 123,116 Oregonians were unemployed, compared to 97,362 a year earlier.