Thursday, February 26, 2009

Unemployment rate hits 9.9% in January

From the Oregonian:

Oregon's unemployment rate soared to 9.9 percent in January, its highest point in 15 years.
The Oregon Employment Department reported this morning that 214,809 people were jobless in the state last month, by far the highest number in any month since World War II. Oregon had 173,121 unemployed in December.
"It's worse than what I thought," lamented Oregon state economist Tom Potiowsky, whose state revenue forecast was already downbeat when he issued it six days ago.
"I didn't think it would be this large of a jump," he said.

The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, up dramatically from a revised figure of 8.3 percent in December, is far higher than the national level -- 7.6 percent -- as six of Oregon's eight largest industrial categories posted job losses. The state shed 14,600 during the month.
Over the past six months, the state has lost an average of nearly 9,000 jobs every month.

Regular readers of the blog are not surprised by Potiowsky's bad forecast. The economy entered a recession in December 2007, here was his prediction a year ago for 2008:

“The chances of slipping into recession this year are bumping closer to 50 percent,” said state economist Tom Potiowsky.