SALEM, OR -- Statewide unemployment remains low. "The unemployment remained at 4.5%, that’s the same rate it’s been for the last three months," says Employment Department Economist Nick Beleicicks.
He says, "Most of the people who are unemployed in Oregon right now are unemployed because they voluntarily quit their jobs; or, they’ve either entered the labor market for the first time, or reentered the labor market and haven’t been able to find a job yet." After 2008, 100,000 Oregonians were classified as long-term unemployed. "We noticed that the number of long-term unemployed has dropped significantly in Oregon. Right now, there are only about 10,000 Oregonians who have been six months or longer."
However, Beleicicks adds job growth is slowing, "Oregon still added 1200 jobs in May, which is slower than the average rate of about 5300 jobs added each month that we’ve seen over the last year."