Oregon’s economy added a “substantial” number of jobs in December for the first monthly increase in payrolls since July 2008, according to the state Employment Department.
But the jobless rate continued to rise, diluting the positive news for the state’s hard-hit economy.
Oregon’s seasonally adjusted non-farm payrolls expanded by 2,900 jobs with gains reported in the manufacturing, education and health care, and trade, transportation and utilities sectors. Construction, mining and logging, and leisure and hospitality continued to shed jobs.
The “employment report provides some promising news with job gains in the private sector and in manufacturing,” Gov. Ted Kulongoski said in a release. “However, it also shows that record numbers of Oregonians are still seeking work after extended periods of unemployment.”
The unemployment rate rose to 11% from 10.7%. The rate is up 2.7 percentage points from a year ago, but is well below the 12.2% peak reached in May 2009.
The jobless and payroll numbers often give different signals about the economy — particularly at turning points — because the unemployment rate is derived from a survey of households and the payroll numbers are derived from a survey of businesses.
The household survey showed a loss of 18,900 jobs last month, but economists consider it a less reliable indicator of the number of jobs in the economy than the payroll survey, which showed an increase in employment.