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Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Rose In December


Oregon’s unemployment rate rose in December. It’s the first monthly increase in seven months.



The Oregon Employment Department said Wednesday that the rate went from 6 percent to 6.4 percent. State Employment Economist Gail Krumenauer said that represents a substantial loss of jobs .

“While it’s not the level of job loss that we saw in the spring of 2020, 25,500 jobs is a large loss over the month,” said. "We closed out 2020 in Oregon having regained just 37 percent of the jobs that were lost in the spring of 2020."

Krumenauer says the biggest losses, by far, were in the leisure and hospitality industries. It came as many bars and restaurants were forced to eliminate indoor dining as part of the state’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Despite the job losses, Oregon’s unemployment rate remains below the national average of 6.7 percent.


While previous monthly reports indicated that women were facing steeper job losses than men, Krumenauer said that gap appears to have closed...but not in a good way. 


"It's because the men's unemployment rate has risen to be in line with women's," she said. 


Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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