County unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent

Clatsop County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped slightly to 3.5 percent in May, according to figures from the Oregon Employment Department.

Clatsop County was tied for the seventh-lowest unemployment rate statewide, along with Deschutes and Wasco counties. The unemployment rate was 1.3 percent lower than the year prior, slightly lower than the state rate (3.6 percent) and nearly 1 percent lower than the U.S. rate (4.3 percent). Some regional economists have argued the region has reached peak employment.

Nonfarm payroll employment decreased by 30 from the year prior, shrinking one-fifth of a percent. The civilian labor force over that time increased by 563. Over the past year, the private sector has added 60 jobs, while the government has cut 90. Leisure and hospitality (130) and construction (80) added the most positions. Retail trade was down 140 jobs over the year, while both manufacturing and local government education lost an additional 70 positions.

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