Oregon Unemployment Rises Slightly in August - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Oregon Unemployment Rises Slightly in August

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PORTLAND, Ore. - The Oregon unemployment rate stayed virtually unchanged in August, inching up from 8% to 8.1%.

The unemployment rate rose even though employers reversed a job loss in July by adding 4,500 jobs.

More than 150,000 Oregonians remain unemployed. For those who do have jobs, hourly pay averaged $22.36 last month, which is up 44 cents from a year ago.

The state Employment Department says the private sector has added 37,000 jobs over the past year while the government has cut 6,300 positions.

Meanwhile, the state's labor pool continues to shrink as people drop out of the job market. Oregon's seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate is now 61.4%, the lowest since the state started keeping that number in January 1976.