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The unemployment rate in Oregon is slightly above the national average of 3.5 percent.

The unemployment rate in Oregon dropped to 3.9 percent in the month of November, the lowest rate since 1976. The change is a slight downtick from a 4 percent unemployment rate in October.

According to a release by the Oregon Employment Department, the unemployment rate in Oregon is slightly above the national average of 3.5 percent.

Oregon, the release said, has been hovering near the 4 percent mark for more than the past three years.

In November, nonfarm payroll employment increased by a total of 6,300 jobs. So far this year, monthly employment has increased by an average of 2,600 jobs, which is slower than the 2018 monthly gains – around 3,000.

"The tight labor market, and perhaps the unusually mild and dry weather in November, seem to have influenced seasonal trends in the major industries," the release said. "Industries that normally shed a lot of workers during the autumn months didn't cut back as much as normal."

Seasonally adjusted job gains included 2,200 in construction, 1,900 in manufacturing and 1,400 in professional and business services.

The government and retail trade industries both hired fewer jobs than normal during November.

The over-the-year job growth in Oregon was 1.6 percent, just above the national number of 1.5 percent. Since November of 2018, many of Oregon's major industries have expanded by 2 percent or better.

"The primary exception of an industry growing faster was education and health services, which grew by 9,900 jobs, or 3.3 percent," the release said. "Conversely, the only major industry that contracted substantially over the past 12 months was retail trade, which cut 1,800 jobs, or -0.9 percent."

The Oregon Employment Department releases jobs numbers every month and planned to release county and metropolitan data on Dec. 24. Numbers for December will be released on Jan. 22, according to the department.

Business briefs

Has your family been on its farm or ranch for more than a century

The Oregon Farm Bureau is accepting applications for its Oregon Century Farm & Ranch program, awarded annually to families that have continuously worked portions of their acreage for the past 100 or 150 years. The deadline for application is May 1.

The program, according to a press release, began in 1958 to honor farm and ranch families with century-long connections to the land.

To qualify for the bureau's century or sesquicentennial award, families must follow a formal application process that requires the organization's application review committee to determine whether an application is qualified, including scrutinizing the family's continuous operation of the farm or ranch, a gross income of not less than $1,000 a year for the past three years and that family members either live on the property or actively manage it for farm or ranch activities.

Applications may include photos, original deeds, personal stories and other historic records, which also help support the state's agricultural history by "providing valuable information about settlement patterns and statistics on livestock and crop cycles," the release said.

The application and program guidelines are available at www.centuryfarm.oregonfb.org, by calling Andréa Kuenzi at 503-400-7884 or emailing the bureau at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Those who are successful in receiving the designation of Oregon Century Farm or Ranch will receive a personalized certificate with acknowledgement by the governor and the director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture, as well as a durable metal roadside sign and inclusion in a ceremony and reception at the Oregon State Fair on Aug. 29.

To date, 1,227 families have formally received the century designation and 46 families the sesquicentennial award.


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