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Portland metro area gains 1,500 jobs in September

The Portland area’s September unemployment rate dropped to 8% in September, a 0.9% decline from August.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The unemployment rate in the Portland metro area dropped to 8% in September.

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) said Tuesday that about 100,000 area residents were unemployed, which is about twice the number of unemployed people in September of 2019.

The Portland area’s September unemployment rate dropped 0.9% from August, when 8.9% of workers were jobless. The metro area gained 1,500 jobs in September, following a gain of 7,700 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in August.

The largest September job gains were in the trade, transportation and financial activities sectors, The OED said.  

The construction sector lost 3,700 jobs in September, which wiped out the gains in August. The professional and business services sector also declined by 1,200 jobs.

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Over the past year, employment in the metro area is down 8.3%. Oregon’s employment rate is down 6.7% during the same time, while the national rate is down 6.4%.

The OED said as of August, Portland’s decline ranked 18th steepest among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. Las Vegas, New York and New Orleans had the steepest jobs decline.

The national unemployment rate was 7.9% in September.

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