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Unemployment Rates And Job Numbers Seem Contradictory


Unemployment is up in Lane and Douglas counties. But as KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, the numbers can be deceptive.

Both counties have seen increases in seasonally adjusted unemployment rates at the same time they’re *adding jobs.

Brian Rooney is a Regional Economist. He says the rate of joblessness can be volatile this time of year with schools out for summer break. People can come from outside the county to compete for available jobs. And, some employees just decide to quit.

Rooney: “That happens when they either have another job and are taking a couple weeks off or they have confidence that they’ll find another job. So that’s almost a positive sign when people are leaving their jobs voluntarily.”

Rooney says in Lane County, 200 jobs were added in July—the seventh monthly increase this year. Still, Lane’s unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent. Douglas County’s jobless rate increased to 8.0 percent while seeing slow but positive growth in employment.  

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