News | Local

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Steady At 8.4 Percent

OPB | March 19, 2013 11:24 a.m. | Updated: March 19, 2013 2:36 p.m. | Portland

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Oregon’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.4 percent in February.

Employment Department, Portland Metro

Employment Department, Portland Metro

Sloan Chambers / OPB

While the unemployment rate remained steady, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll grew by 6,800 jobs in February. That’s on top of another 54-hundred jobs in January.  State economist, David Cooke, says those gains are more than twice the national average.

“So restaurants are hiring, that’s one of the fastest growing industries. We’re seeing a little bit of a comeback for certain manufacturing industries. We’re seeing high lumber prices and that’s helping Oregon substantially. And then the construction sector did have a decent up-tick for the February numbers,” he said.

The average workweek for Oregon manufacturing workers rose from 40.5 hours in January to 40.8 in February.

Their workweek has been growing over three years. Economists say that at some point, employers will hire new workers, rather than burn out their existing workforce.

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