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Winter 2002


Labor market -- Oregon -- Statistics, Labor -- Oregon -- Statistics, Oregon -- Economic conditions -- Statistics


Regarding the regional employment rate: is the glass half full or half empty? While the question isn't really that simple, due to the methodology of calculating unemployment rates, it illustrates the classic quandary of ambiguous news. Oregon, like much of the country, has experienced a recent sharp increase in unemployment and the state's jobless rate was declared to be higher than the national average. While this news may appear alarming, in historical context, Oregon's November unemployment rate of 6.4% was not exceptionally high (the rate has since climbed higher). That rate was approximately 65% of the level seen in the early half of the 1980's, when Oregon's unemployment rate averaged between 8 and 11%.


Originally appeared in the Winter 2002 edition of Metroscape, published by the Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, Portland State University.

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