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The rate of unemployment in Oregon has ranged between 4.0 and 4.4 percent for 36 consecutive months and fall 2019 was no different as state officials reported a rate of 4.1 percent in September and October

The rate of unemployment in Oregon has ranged between 4.0 and 4.4 percent for 36 consecutive months and fall 2019 was no different as state officials reported a rate of 4.1 percent in September and October.

The state's rate showed its usual margin compared to the rate of unemployment across the country, which ticked upward from 3.5 percent to 3.6 percent from September to October.

Other indicators of the strength of Oregon's labor force also remained constant in recent months, according to a report from the state. For example, fewer individuals are remaining unemployed for extended periods: the number of potential workers who were unemployed for 52 weeks or more dropped to 6,000 in October. That represents the lowest level in 12 years and is a fraction of the 70,000 individuals who met that criteria in 2010.

In addition, the number of people who lost a job has remained constant at nearly 32,000 for the past three years, a quarter of those who were rendered unemployed in 2009.

The state did report one anomaly in the figures, though: the number of people now unemployed due to leaving their jobs voluntarily recently topped 16,000, up from an average of 12,000 during the prior six calendar years. The phenomenon, state officials said, could be attributed "to increasing confidence among workers of being able to easily find another job if they quit their current job," the report stated.

The nuts and bolts of the state's findings indicated that Oregon's non-farm payroll employment rose by 3,300 jobs in September and 4,400 jobs in October. Gains were also made in the leisure and hospitality sector (an increase of 2,400 jobs), government (a gain of 2,300 positions) and wholesale trade (which added 1,000 jobs).

The increases were offset, to a degree, by downturns in construction, health care and social assistance, and retail trade, which saw job losses of 700, 700 and 900, respectively.

The state also reported that overall employment has seen increases of 6,400 individuals since June. Oregon's employment grew by 27,800 jobs (1.4 percent) over the past 12 months, the report said, slightly lower than the 1.7 percent average annual growth rate the state experienced over the previous seven months. Over the course of the past five years, Oregon's employment grew an average of 2.8 percent per year, a rate equal to the national rate.

Business briefs

Waste Management will be open on Thanksgiving Day

Waste Management announced last week that customers in Yamhill County will receive service as usual on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, including customers in Newberg, Dundee and unincorporated Yamhill County. However, the Newberg transfer station will be closed that day, as will Riverbend Landfill in McMinnville.

Year-round schedules and other information on Waste Management services is available at www.wmnorthwest.com. More information on the landfill is available at www.riverbend.wm.com.


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