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Oregon's falling jobless rate actually a bad sign

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High Five
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oregon's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level in three years, but some economists say that is actually a bad sign, as it means people have given up looking for work.

Oregon shed its 9.5 percent jobless rate in November after several months stuck in that range. But the state also lost something else last month: 1,600 jobs, seasonally adjusted, following a revised loss of 600 in October. Payroll employment in Oregon has remained lodged at just above 1.62 million since February. 
Patrick Emerson, an Oregon State University economist, sees the state's falling jobless rate as a negative. 
"The unemployment rate going down, in this case, is actually a bad sign," Emerson said. "It's very similar to the picture nationally, which is that the unemployment rate is dropping, but it's largely due to people leaving the market rather than new jobs appearing in the market."

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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