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State jobless rate highest on record

State says rise of unemployment is slowing down

June 16, 2009 Herald and News

Portland - Oregon's unemployment rate has hit a record 12.4 percent.

The State Employment Department said Monday the monthly jobless ate is the highest since the state began keeping statistics in a comparable format in 1976. The record previously was 12.1 percent in November 1982.

Joblessness slows

The department said Monday, however, the rise in joblessness has slowed in the past two months, and the number of jobs lost was much smaller than in recent months.

The state's unemployment rate is still more than twice as high as it was a year ago, and higher than the national unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

The May rate translates to about 1.7 million Oregonians employed, 240,000 unemployed.

The department's monthly report on employment is based on two surveys.

One done by the U.S. Census Bureau of nearly 1,000 Oregon households leads to the unemployment rate.

Another done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics leads to statistics on the number of jobs business have added or cut.


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