Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Portland unemployment at 7.5 percent

From the Oregonian:

Greater Portland unemployment hit 7.5 percent in November, the highest rate since the recession of 2001-2003, state officials said today.

The metro area's seasonally adjusted rate increased from 6.8 percent in October. The area has shed 15,400 jobs since peaking in March 2008.

Construction lost 1,800 jobs, several hundred more than typical for this time of year, Oregon Employment Department officials said. The sector is down 4,200 jobs, or 6.3 percent, for the year.

Manufacturing added 300 jobs in November, but only because the Boeing strike ended.

Portland is doing better than the state as a whole, which registered 8.1 percent unemployment, seasonally adjusted, in November. The national unemployment rate for the month was 6.7 percent. During the last recession, Portland unemployment peaked at 8.8 percent.

A bright spot: Education and health services added 900 jobs over the month, remaining the Portland area's fastest-growing broad industry.