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Portland metro area gains 7,500 jobs in August

The Portland area’s August unemployment rate dropped to 8.3% in August. In July, the unemployment rate was 11%.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The unemployment rate in the Portland metro area dropped to 8.3% in August.

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) said Tuesday that about 110,500 area residents were unemployed, which is more than twice the number of unemployed people in August of 2019.

The Portland area’s August unemployment rate dropped 2.7% from July, when 11% of workers were jobless. The metro area gained 7,500 jobs in August, following a gain of 9,000 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in July.

The largest job gain in August was in the construction sector, where employers added 2,900 jobs. The government sector posted the second largest gain of 1,900 jobs as many employees at public schools returned to work, the OED said.

Retail trade added 1,800 jobs in August.

In the last four months, employers have added back 59,600 jobs, which is more than a third of the jobs lost during March and April due to the coronavirus pandemic, the OED said.

Over the past year, employment in the metro area is down 8.1%, which is about 99,000 jobs.

Transportation, warehousing and utilities is the broad industry that has seen the fewest job losses in the past year. Leisure and hospitality has been the hardest hit, losing 39,000 jobs.

The national unemployment rate was 8.4% in August.

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