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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 20 November 2010

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon added 7,600 jobs in October, the biggest monthly jump in more than four years, but that was not enough to push a decline in the unemployment rate, the state Employment Department reported this week.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October was 10.5 percent, virtually unchanged for the past year, and still above the national rate of 9.6 percent, the department said.

The jobless rate has been stuck between 10.5 percent and 10.7 percent for the past 12 months. The number represents 196,237 people who were unemployed.

The seasonally adjusted increase in job numbers for October was the biggest one-month gain since December 2005, when 8,700 jobs were added.

The private sector has added jobs four of the past five months. Since the low point of 1,290,300 jobs in March, private payroll employment was up 11,800, or 0.9 percent.

Strong gains in hiring at universities and community colleges were spurred by increasing enrollment, as well as at local schools. Overall, the government added 20,100 jobs in October, far above a typical monthly gain of 16,600.

State education accounted for 6,900 new jobs, and local education added 14,800 jobs. Budget cuts at many local school districts, however, have left the sector 1,100 jobs below the figure for the same month last year.

Private education added 4,200 jobs, and health services and social assistance 1,400.

Since December 2009, professional and business services has seen 5,000 more jobs, an increase of 2.9 percent, despite cutting 600 jobs in October.

Leisure and hospitality was the hardest hit sector, cutting 1,100 jobs, following a gain of 2,800 in September. Restaurants and bars cut 2,200 jobs after the summer peak, but maintained 2,400 jobs from the same period a year ago.

Manufacturing cut 900 jobs for the month, compared to a normal seasonal loss of 400.

Wood products accounted for 500 of them, employing 19,400 in October, tied with February for the lowest figure on record. Computer and electronics manufacturing cut 500 jobs. The total of 34,400 jobs tied January for the lowest level in more than 15 years.

Construction has been on a modest upward trajectory since February, gaining 500 jobs in October to reach 66,200.

Average weekly earnings on private sector payrolls rose to $728.26, up from $706.29 the month before. That was up 3.1 percent from a year ago.

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