Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Out of Three Unemployed Oregonians are Long-Term Unemployed

Oregon’s unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in November as the economy added jobs and more people found success in their job searches. The number of people who have been unemployed for less than six months is now about the same as it was before the recession. From that point of view, Oregon’s labor market is relatively tight and many people are able to find jobs as fast as they could before the recession.

Not everyone is able to find a job quickly though. Roughly 34 percent of unemployed Oregonians have been without a job for six months or more and are considered long-term unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed is falling along with overall unemployment, but the reasons for this are a bit unclear. They could be finding jobs (good), enjoying retirement (good), or dropping out of the labor force when they would rather be working (bad). It’s likely all of the above, but the data for Oregon doesn’t say for sure what eventually happens to the long-term unemployed.

Our friends at the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis looked at this question back in September. You might be interested in: What Happens to the Unemployed?

The material for this post was compiled and composed by Oregon's State Employment Economist, Nick Beleiciks.  For questions, contact Nick at

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