Almost 40 percent of adults in state out of labor force

Oregon’s labor force participation rate drops to lowest level since data first was collected.

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Oregon’s labor force participation rate dropped to its lowest level between May and June since the data was first collected.

The numbers include retirees, full-time parents and students, as well as discouraged job seekers.

The state’s labor force participation rate dropped from 60.6 percent to 60.3 percent between May and June, reaching its lowest point since analysts began tracking the measure 39 years ago. The decline is not unexpected.

Just as baby boomers fueled the go-go economy of the 1990s, they are now driving the participation-rate decline as they retire. Also a factor: Young adults are waiting longer to enter the labor force as they pursue advanced educations.


“Unemployment typically rises each summer as movers to Oregon, recent graduates, and students on summer break look for jobs,” state economists wrote in a news release. “However, the influx of unemployed during each of the past four summers was larger than expected, which led to temporary increases in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate. This summer could be showing a similar pattern.”

Oregon’s unemployment rate (5.5 percent) exceeds the national 5.3 percent unemployment rate.

Overall, the state added a seasonally adjusted total of 2,300 jobs in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The retail sector added 3,100 jobs after losing 1,400 jobs in May.

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

Employers posted a record-high number of job openings this season but have had trouble filling those vacancies, reports.


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