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Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% in October

The state gained 14,200 jobs in October. The unemployment rate dropped from 7.9% in September.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9% in October, the Oregon Employment Department (OED) said Tuesday.

In September, the state’s unemployment rate was 7.9%. The decrease mirrors the national unemployment rate, which also dropped from 7.9% in September to 6.9% in October.

The state gained 14,200 jobs in October (nonfarm payroll), which is close to Oregon’s average monthly job gain over the last four months (14,400).

The OED said Oregon has recovered 46% of the jobs lost in March and April at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The industries that saw the largest job gains in October were construction (6,100 jobs), professional and business services (4,300 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (4,300 jobs). Government saw the largest decline in October, losing 7,400 jobs.

The OED said it's preparing for an increase in unemployment claims following Gov. Kate Brown's statewide "freeze" that will be in effect for two weeks or more to slow the spread of COVID-19.

For most counties, the freeze will be from Nov. 18 to Dec. 2, during which time there will be added restrictions on social gatherings and other activities, and bars and restaurants will be limited to takeout only. For counties with high coronavirus activity, such as Multnomah, the freeze is expected to last four weeks or longer.

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