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Pandemic Dramatically Upends Oregon's Employment Numbers

Brian Bull

“Devastating.”  That’s how Oregon’s Employment Economist describes April’s unemployment figures.

Gail Krumenauer says the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken a toll on Oregon’s workforce.

“In a month’s time, we went from a near record low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent to the highest unemployment rate we’ve ever seen.  As of April, it is 14.2 percent," explains Krumenauer.  

"And that is truly unprecedented.  In just a month’s time, a quarter of a million jobs were either temporarily or permanently lost in the state.”

No sector of Oregon’s economy saw gains in April.  1 out of 2 jobs in leisure and hospitality were lost.

Krumenauer says she can’t speculate on whether easing of pandemic restrictions will mean better figures for May.

Copyright 2020, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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