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MailTribune.com
  • Oregon jobless rate rises to 8.1 percent

  • Oregon's unemployment rate inched up to 8.1 percent in August, a slight increase from 8 percent the previous month, the state Employment Department said Tuesday.
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  • Oregon's unemployment rate inched up to 8.1 percent in August, a slight increase from 8 percent the previous month, the state Employment Department said Tuesday.
    The unemployment rate rose even though employers reversed a job loss in July by adding 4,500 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, after a revised, seasonally adjusted loss of 1,000 in July.
    A little more than 150,000 Oregonians remain unemployed, compared with 170,000 a year ago.
    For those who do have jobs, hourly pay averaged $22.36 last month, up 44 cents from a year ago.
    The state Employment Department says the private sector has added 37,000 jobs over the past year while the government has cut 6,300 positions.
    Over the past 12 months, six of the state's major industries have expanded by 2.3 percent to 3.5 percent, according to the Employment Department, while one, leisure and hospitality, grew by 6 percent. "This breadth of steadily expanding industries is evidence of broad-based economic expansion in Oregon," the Employment Department said.
    The only private-sector industry to decline over the year was financial activities, which shed 1,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent, state economists said.
    They attributed this, at least in part, to rising interest rates that have cut the amount of mortgage refinancing.
    Meanwhile, the state's labor pool continues to shrink; state economists have cited retirements as a major factor in the decreasing labor pool.
    Oregon's seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate is now 61.4 percent, the lowest since the state started keeping that number in January 1976.
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