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Lane Unemployment Down Only Slightly This Past Year


The  unemployment rate in Lane County, as in the whole state of Oregon, has flattened out. 

Lane County's unemployment rate, established through a household survey, stood at 6.9 percent in November.  That's according to Brian Rooney, regional economist for the Oregon Employment Department. It's down only slightly from a 7.1 percent rate a year ago.

Rooney:  "It's been flat while we've been having strong employment growth.  The civilian labor force is growing.  Discouraged workers, and we had a lot of them during the Great Recession, see opportunity and start looking for work again.  And once you start looking for work and haven't found a job yet, you're counted as unemployed."

The November Lane County rate was just below the statewide rate of 7.0 and higher than the national rate of 5.8. Rooney is optimistic about Lane employment opportunities going forward. He attributes this to private sector growth and  such public projects as the Veterans Administration in Eugene and the Psychiatric Hospital in Junction City. 

Claude Offenbacher was a reporter and host at KLCC from 1999-2012. He currently volunteers as front desk support and PSA writer.
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