Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops to 9.6%
Governor John Kitzhaber along with Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain announced today that our state’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since December 2008, at 9.6%.
Job growth in sectors like manufacturing, which traditionally provide high-wage, long term employment, offer our state a glimmer of hope. For a state struggling to keep workers employed and protect vital services, this is a half-step in the right direction. "The recovery is uneven,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “There are parts of the state that have not benefited as much as other parts of the state. So we have the opportunity this session to build on this strong start."
Unfortunately the strong start seen in many sectors was met with job loss in the public sector. That loss will directly correspond to lost vital services that struggling Oregon families depend on. We must work to close the budget gap and keep our services funded and our schools open while we continue to grow our economy.
Oregon AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain focused in on what needs to happen in Salem for Oregon to climb out of this recession: “The Legislature's top priority must be getting people back to work - and preserving the jobs we already have. That means passing legislation that will encourage job creation, and it means removing barriers that make it harder to create jobs. These can't just be any jobs. They need to be good jobs that pay a decent wage - that keep families in their homes, and support a strong economy - so that our communities can recover.”
Oregon is headed in the right direction, but without a strong push from the Legislature we will have trouble turning our economy all the way around.