Unemployment Rates Better Going Into “The Freeze”

October saw the fall of unemployment rates in the state of Oregon generally and in Benton county specifically. However, the freeze of businesses may stop the rebound.  

From September to October, the rate of joblessness decreased from 7.9% to 6.9%, the same decrease as the federal unemployment rates over the same time.  Benton County saw the rate fall from 6.1% to 5.6%.  

Job gains in areas like construction, professional and business services, and leisure activity were the highest over the month, while declines were the biggest in government jobs.  

Gail Krumenauer, a state employment economist, said in an interview for Oregon Employment that though unemployment rates have dropped from their rate of 14.9% in April, “we are seeing an increase in the number of people who’ve been unemployed for a long time. So, long term unemployment of more than half a year has tripled in the past couple of months and is now at 54,600 in Oregon.” 

Krumenauer said Gov. Kate Brown’s order to close or limit businesses will possibly impact the unemployment rates in November, but it is too soon to see how the figures will move.  

The closures, also called the freeze, will last two weeks in most parts of the state, though it could extend beyond that. Multnomah County, the most densely populated county in the state, is set to have its freeze last four weeks.  

By: Hannah Ramsey