July 13th, 2010 | by MARK ZUSMAN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Business

Oregon Unemployment Numbers: Things Could Be Worse

Oregon unemployment

The latest unemployment rate released today for Oregon is 10.5 percent.

The June number (PDF) is virtually unchanged from the previous month, but substantially better than the 11.6 percent rate from one year ago, if that makes anyone feel any better.

An estimated 203,884 Oregonians are out of work, not counting those who have given up the search entirely. If you are looking for silver linings in this gloomy news, here are a couple:

*We could be California. That state's unemployment rate exceeds 12 percent.

*A few sectors of the Oregon economy are showing growth. Nursing and residential care facilities added 1,300 jobs over the past 12 months, a function of the aging of Oregon's population. According to state economist David Cooke, "you can't outsource these jobs." Semiconductor and electronic component manufacturing gained 1,400 jobs over the last year. And government grew at the state and federal level, at least compared to last year. There are 3,100 more federal employees in Oregon then last year at this time, though much of that is related to the hiring of census workers. State government has 500 more employees than last year at this time, though there's a grim reason for that jump. "We had to hire a number of additional people to process unemployment claims," said Cooke.
 
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