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State rate continues to increase, but was not impacted by the government shutdown

The state's unemployment rate continues to increase, eclipsing 4 percent in the latest numbers provided by the Oregon Employment Department.

The unemployment rate for December was 4.1 percent, an increase from 3.9 percent in November. The United States as a whole also saw an increase from 3.7 percent in November to 3.9 percent in December.

For December, Oregon's nonfarm payroll employment increased by 300 jobs, which followed a gain of 300 jobs in November as well. According to a press release from the employment department, these two months "of nearly flat employment trends followed four months of fairly rapid gains that averaged 3,700 per month during July through October."

In December, the leisure and hospitality field added 1,600 jobs, health care and social assistance 1,000 jobs and government added 900 jobs. Professional and business services lost 1,900 jobs and retail cut 1,500 jobs.

According to the press release, the government shutdown did not impact Oregon's December federal government jobs tally.

Leisure and hospitality reflected solid demand for employees over the past four months, according to the press release.

"During a time of year when demand for restaurant services is typically declining, the industry kept total employment levels above the normal seasonal trends," the release said. "Recent gains followed weaker hiring during the upswing from January through August. Looking at the longer term, leisure and hospitality added 2,500 jobs, a gain of 1.2 percent, over the past 12 months."

Retail trade employment dropped 3,000 jobs between October and December, relatively weak for the holiday period. This followed minimal growth going back to early 2017. In the past 12 months, the retail trade cut 1,400 jobs and was the only major industry with a drop of more than 1,000 jobs in that time. The sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores component of retail has downsized over the past few years following changes in customer shopping methods.

It employed 10,000 in December, which was a decline of 900 jobs since December 2017.

Oregon's nonfarm payroll employment increased by 30,800 jobs, or 1.6 percent, since December 2017. In that time, construction remained the fastest growing industry, with a gain of 4,900 jobs or 4.8 percent.

Only two other major industries grew by 3 percent or more: other services added 2,000 jobs (3.1 percent) and transportation, warehousing and utilities, added 1,900 jobs (3 percent).

Business briefs

GFU to host earthquake preparedness talk

George Fox University will host an earthquake preparedness presentation on from 4 to 5:15 p.m. March 4 in Bauman Auditorium. Seating is first-come, first-served. The discussion will be led by disaster expert Steven Eberlein.

Crystal Crossroads moves to new location

Newberg business Crystal Crossroads, which specializes in alternative self-care, has announced it has moved to a new location. The 2-year-old business -- which sells crystals, gemstone jewelry, herbs, essential oils, aromatic candles, salts, bathbombs and other items – is now located at 901 N. Brutscher St., Suite F.

NHS group looking for rummage sale donations

The Newberg High School Grad Night 2019 committee is hosting a Rummage Sale on March 16 and is looking for items to sell. To donate, email April Ramirez at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The committee is accepting and storing donations now, but will not take exercise equipment, paint or chemicals.

Newberg animal shelter hosting volunteer orientation

The Newberg Area Animal Shelter is hosting three upcoming volunteer orientations for interested individuals. The first will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Sunday, followed by Feb. 5 and Feb 10, both from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Anyone interested can submit an application at https://newberganimals.com/volunteer.

Newberg's Social Goods reopens

Newberg's Social Goods Market is open again after closing to remodel. The store at 500 E. First St. sells beer, wine and spirits, has taps, and also acts as a café, grocery store and gathering space for the community. It reopened on Jan. 14.

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