Oregon’s unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 12% in April, the smallest gain in eleven months, according to the state’s Employment Department.
Oregon’s jobless rate has more than doubled in the past year, rising from 5.6% in April 2008, an average of a half percentage point increase every month. That rate is now the second-highest in the nation after Michigan’s. The current rate is more than three percentage points above the national average of 8.9%.
“While the unemployment rate has remained flat for the last month, there are still thousands of Oregonians looking for work to support themselves and their families,” Gov. Ted Kulongoski said in a press release after the report.
The Democratic governor is pushing the legislature to approve $2 billion of partially bond financed capital spending to help put people back to work.
The number of unemployed workers has risen to 242,550 from 101,964 over the past year.
Payroll employment fell by 9,500 jobs to 1.63 million in April from 1.64 million in March. That was the smallest job loss since November. The state has lost 95,900 jobs over the past year.
In April, the state lost jobs in seven of the 11 major industry groups the Employment Department tracks. The biggest job losses were in the construction, manufacturing, and professional and business services industries. Government was the only industry that added workers, more than 1,000 jobs.