Monday, May 18, 2009

Oregon Unemployment: 12%

Big relief: Oregon's April unemployment is essentially unchanged at 12% (the March figure was revised to 11.9%). I had expected much worse - but this does not mean the end, it will still probably get worse before it gets better.

Notes: the number of people classified as unemployed fell by 10,000. This can, of course, come from people who find a job, stop looking for work or leave the state. Leisure and hospitality added jobs as the summer vacation season starts getting into gear. Overall the non-farm payroll numbers sunk by 9,500 jobs, but compared to recent months, this is a big improvement.

Update: Now that classes are over for the day, I can think a little bit more about these numbers:

The labor force continues to grow, but the unemployed population shrinks - however it is not non-farm payroll employment as that has shrunk. So our agricultural sector and the self-employed that are absorbing a bunch of workers is the essence of these numbers as they ramp up for the summer. This is one note of caution - without the idle capacity in the state becoming active, we ware not going to see any improvement for a while. And if the non-farm sectors continue to shed jobs, we will see increased unemployment in the near future.

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