Figures show a sixth of state's workforce lacks full-time work

EUGENE — A measure of employment that takes into account people who have given up looking for work or who can't find full-time work shows about a sixth of Oregon's workforce out of full-time jobs last year.

Figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show 173,300 Oregonians were unemployed in 2012. Another 167,800 were underemployed or unemployed but not counted, the (Eugene) Register-Guard reported.

Combining the two categories made for a rate of unemployment or underemployment of 17.2 percent — almost double the official jobless rate that is the most common indication of the status of the labor force.

The Oregon numbers are evidence of a weight bearing down on the state's sluggish economic recovery, as part-time workers curtail spending, University of Oregon economist Tim Duy said.

"This is another indication of the pressure on household income and spending that persists even though the recession officially ended long ago," Duy said.

The bulk of the underemployed or uncounted people — 139,600 — were looking for full-time jobs but able to find only part-time work, according to the bureau.

The bureau figures don't show exactly how many hours per week the involuntary part-timers are working, but Duy said they do show that those are people who have the skills to get hired.

"They're employed now," he said, but the economy isn't producing enough jobs to provide them with full-time work.

The corresponding national figure that includes underemployed and discouraged workers is 14.7 percent.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK