Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jobless rate higher for minorities in Oregon

Yesterday, a story from the Oregon Business Report caught my attention. The article ties to a great post that Brooke wrote last week about economic differences by race, and draws from a recently-published article by our State Employment Economist, Nick Beleiciks.

The story discusses unemployment rates and labor force participation by race and ethnicity in Oregon. The state's unemployment rate jumped from 6.4 percent in 2008 to 11.5 percent in 2009 as the effects of the recession spread throughout Oregon.

Unemployed Oregonians in all race and ethnicity groups struggled to find employment, but the labor market problems faced by black and Hispanic job seekers in Oregon were especially difficult last year. The unemployment rate was 15.2 percent for black workers and 14.0 percent for Hispanic workers in 2009. These figures are considerably higher than the 11.1 percent unemployment rate for white Oregon workers, or the 6.0 percent rate for Asian workers in the state.

The overall labor force participation rate of Oregon residents was 65 percent in 2009, exactly the same as the nation's rate. Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Hispanics had the highest labor force participation rate at 75 percent, followed by Asians at 68 percent, whites at 66 percent, and blacks at 59 percent.

Read more from the Oregon Business Report, or check out Nick's full article on our website!

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