Unemployed giving up job hunt

Economists say the flattened rate could mean unemployed workers have stopped searching.

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Oregon economists worry the flattened unemployment rate could mean workers have given up the search for jobs.

Instead what appears to be happening is that many job hunters — retirees and nonworking spouses who dusted off resumes as the financial sector imploded and stocks plunged — are leaving the hunt. Their disappearance from the ranks of the officially unemployed lowers the jobless rate, said David Cooke, a state labor economist.

“What we’re seeing since April is a decline in Oregon’s seasonally adjusted labor force” — the total number of employed and unemployed people, Cooke said. “That’s a different trend from what we saw in the period ending in the spring, when we had very rapid increases in Oregon’s labor force as a higher percentage of the population was out there looking for work.”

Read more at the Oregonian.

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