Benton County jobless rate dips

2013-05-21T08:30:00Z Benton County jobless rate dipsCorvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times
May 21, 2013 8:30 am  • 

Benton County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell last month to 5.8 percent from a revised 6.0 percent in March, according to the latest data from the state Employment Department.

Without factoring in normal seasonal fluctuations, the jobless rate was 5.5 percent for April, down from 6.1 percent, the department reported Monday.

An estimated 2,426 Benton County workers were out of a job last month from a civilian labor force of 44,317.

Total nonfarm employment was 39,110, according to the Employment Department. That’s down 40 jobs from April 2012 and 290 jobs below the prerecession peak reached in May 2008, even though the county had consistently been above that benchmark since last fall.

The fastest-growing segment of the private sector over the last 12 months has been professional and business services, up 130 jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality (up 60) and trade, transportation and utilities (up 30).

In the public sector, state government has added 140 jobs since April 2012, driven by hiring at Oregon State University. In the same period, local government is down 80 jobs and federal government down 40.

Linn County’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 10.1 percent last month from a revised rate of 10.4 percent in March. Measured as a straight percentage, Linn’s unemployment numbers dipped below 10 percent for the first time in years, dropping to 9.8 percent from 10.6 percent.

The national average dipped to a seasonally adjusted 7.5 percent in April from a revised 7.6 percent the month before, while the statewide numbers fell to 8.0 percent from a revised 8.2.

Reporter Bennett Hall can be contacted at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@gazettetimes.com.

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