Job market shows improvement

Half a year after expressing job-market worries, some Oregonians see a brighter picture.

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The Oregonian follows up with a group of people who spoke about their financial worries half a year ago. Today, some of them are seeing improvements.

Thomas Dana is one of a dozen people who spoke to The Oregonian last spring about their financial fears during the recession. At the time, the state’s unemployment rate was 12.2 percent, the highest since the 1950s and the second-highest in the country behind Michigan. Trade, transportation and utility companies were shedding jobs.

Since then, things have brightened somewhat: The Portland area’s jobless rate has dropped to 11.3 percent. Federal stimulus money has helped boost construction jobs, and though the economy hasn’t bounced back, it at least is no longer in free fall.

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