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Lane County’s unemployment rate edges up for first time in nearly two years

Lane County unemployment August 2022
Oregon Employment Department
Lane County's unemployment rate edged upward in August for the first time since a slight rise in September 2020.

The unemployment rate in Lane County rose for the first time in nearly two years last month. According to data released Tuesday by the Oregon Employment Department, Lane County's seasonally adjusted rate for August was 4.0%.

That’s up from 3.8% in July.

Despite the increase, the August rate remains very close to Lane County’s all-time low of 3.6%.

“One month does not make a trend," said Brian Rooney, Lane County’s regional labor economist for the Oregon Employment Department. "The general trend over the past year or so has been very strong employment growth and lowering unemployment rates.”

Lane County’s record-high rate came in April 2020, when pandemic-shutdowns resulted in 14% unemployment. Rooney said over the past year, Lane County has seen the strongest growth in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as education and health services.

The statewide unemployment rate for Oregon is 3.7%.

The unemployment rate also increased slightly in August in Douglas County, going from 4.4% to 4.5%. Lincoln County rose from 4.7% to 4.9%.

Benton County also edged up slightly, but remains below the statewide rate. Benton went from 2.9% unemployment in July to 3.0% unemployment in August. In Linn County, the rate held steady from July to August, at 4.0%.

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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