Economy | News | Local

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops To Five-Year Low

OPB | Jan. 22, 2014 11:18 a.m. | Updated: Jan. 22, 2014 2:35 p.m. | Portland

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Mill workers.

Mill workers.

Amelia Templeton / OPB

December’s unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 percent to 7 percent. That’s the lowest mark in five years, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Oregon’s job growth overall in 2013 was much stronger than in the prior two years. The state added 37,000 jobs last year.

In December, the state added 4,400 jobs. Those job gains were concentrated in professional and business services and in government. Those sectors alone added 2,800 jobs.

Employment is at a 5-year-low in the most recent stats from the Oregon Employment Dept. Click to enlarge.

Employment is at a 5-year-low in the most recent stats from the Oregon Employment Dept. Click to enlarge.

Courtesy Oregon Employment Dept.

Nick Beleiciks is a state employment economist.

This is good news. It seems like that slow job growth that we’ve seen in the recovery is behind us. So as long as we keep this rate going we’ll see some real recovery from the recession.

Beleiciks says Oregon lost about 150,000 jobs in the recession, but two-thirds of those jobs have been recovered. He says the state should get back to pre-recession levels in 2015.

The most recent figures show that nearly 132,000 Oregonians are still unemployed after adjusting for seasonal patterns.

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