Benton County’s unemployment rate fell slightly last month, dipping to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 percent from September’s revised 6.4 percent level, according to the latest data from the state.
Without taking seasonal fluctuations into account, the jobless rate showed a minor uptick in October, rising to 5.8 percent in October from 5.7 percent the month before.
Some 2,561 Benton County workers were out of a job last month from a civilian labor force of 44,442, the Oregon Employment Department estimated on Monday.
Total nonfarm employment was 38,540 in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s up 440 jobs from a year earlier but still 760 jobs below the prerecession peak of April 2008.
Health care and social assistance was the fastest-growing private sector category, packing on 170 new hires since October 2011, followed by trade, transportation and utilities (up 150 jobs), professional and business services (up 110) and financial activities (up 40).
The biggest loser over the past 12 months was manufacturing, down 130 jobs overall and 110 in durable goods, the segment dominated by Hewlett-Packard, followed by leisure and hospitality (down 70 jobs) and mining, logging and construction (down 40).
In the public sector, state government was up 220 jobs since October 2011, led by 190 hires in state government educational services, primarily Oregon State University. Local government employment was down 80 jobs, dragged down by a loss of 100 positions in educational services, while federal employment was down 20.
Across the river in Linn County, seasonally adjusted unemployment dipped to 11.0 percent last month from a revised 11.1 percent in September. Looking strictly at raw numbers, Linn’s jobless rate jumped half a point in October, climbing to 10.4 percent from 9.9 the month prior.
Looked at together, Linn and Benton counties had a combined seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, down from 9.0 the month before.
Nationally, unemployment rose to 7.9 percent last month from 7.8 percent in September while the state average declined to 8.6 percent from a revised 8.7 percent.