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Oregon unemployment rate soars to record 14.2% in April

One out of every eight jobs was either temporarily or permanently lost in April, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
Credit: Spencer Green, Associated Press
A job seeker fills out an application.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon's unemployment rate soared from 3.5% in March to a record-high 14.2% in April, according to the Oregon Employment Department (OED).

April was the first full month of data that showed how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the economy.

The bump from March to April represents the largest month-to-month increase since they started keeping records in 1976.

OED reported that 266,600 people lost their job during the first two months of the pandemic, and the number of unemployed Oregonians rose by 227,530 to reach a total of 300,420 in April. One out of every eight jobs was either temporarily or permanently lost in April, according to OED.

Oregon's numbers parallel the U.S. unemployment rate, which rose to 14.7% in April.

"While these numbers make for shocking historical records, they cannot totally capture the economic trauma so many Oregonians are experiencing at this time," said Anna Johnson, a senior economic analyst with OED.

No sector in Oregon gained jobs in April, but the industry hit hardest by the economic downturn was leisure and hospitality, which lost 54.6% of its jobs in April. Other industries suffered significant job loss, too:

  • Health care and social assistance: -26,800 jobs
  • Retail trade: -22,500 jobs
  • Professional and business services: -19,200 jobs
  • Government: -13,100 jobs
  • Other services: -12,900 jobs
  • Construction: -12,000 jobs
  • Manufacturing: -11,600 jobs

OED said it will release April unemployment rates for counties and metropolitan areas on Wednesday.

Resources

To help finding a job or access training resources, visit WorkSource Oregon.

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