Union County jobless rate remains at 14.4%

By Observer staff April 22, 2009 02:11 pm

Unemployment in Union County during March held steady, while it rose in Wallowa County.

The latest figures from the Oregon Employment Department say the non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for Union County in March was 14.4 percent, a rate identical to that of  February.

The double digit unemployment figure, however, is indicative of the hard times the county has undergone in the recession. A year ago in March, the jobless rate came in at 7.5 percent.

Union County’s manufacturing sector, which has shed 450 jobs since March 2008, enjoyed a bit of a rebound this March, adding 50 jobs. Construction also picked up, adding 50 jobs.

On the downside, the federal government shed 30 jobs during March.

Union County’s civilian labor force in March numbered 12,624 people, of which 1,812 were without jobs.

In Wallowa County, the unemployment rate for March came in at 17.6, more than two percentage points above February’s 15.4 percent. Out of 3,663 people in the civilian labor force, 646 were out of work.

In March 2008, Wallowa County’s jobless rate stood at 9.6 percent.

Throughout Oregon this March, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1 percent. Nationally, the rate was 8.5 percent.

In March 2008, the seasonally adjusted rate for Oregon was 5.5. percent. For the country, it was 5.1 percent.