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County jobless rate rises.

Byline: Sherri Buri McDonald The Register-Guard

Lane County's jobless rate climbed a bit in July, fueled by education-related employees out of work for the summer and slower employment growth overall.

The rate was 5.5 percent in July, up from 5.1 percent in June, according to figures from the state Employment Department.

Lane County's rate was higher than the statewide rate of 5.3 percent, and also topped the national rate of 4.9 percent.

Despite the rise in July, Lane County's unemployment rate continues to be at a historically low level. July's rate was the lowest for the month since 1999, said Brian Rooney, an employment department labor economist.

But the ultra-tight labor market could begin to ease because employment growth is starting to slow, especially in industries such as financial activities, and business and professional services, which had grown rapidly between 2004 and mid-2006, Rooney said.

Construction also has slowed, with a gain of just 300 jobs year over year, compared with about 700 the previous year, according to the employment department. Construction, however, has remained surprisingly strong, given the drop in residential housing permits, Rooney said.

Professional and businesses services gained 100 jobs in July, for a total of 16,500.

Local education lost 2,200 jobs in July and state government lost 1,900 jobs.
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Title Annotation:Business; Education workers on hiatus for the summer and slow job growth fueled the increase
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 18, 2007
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