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Unemployment creeps up to 10.7 percent

The jobless rate for the Salem area increased to 10.7 percent in August, a slight bump from the July rate of 10.5 percent.
Some 20,652 Marion and Polk county residents are unemployed with a labor force of 204,635 for the month, according to Worksource Oregon. Total non-farm employment was 143,600 – a loss of 700 jobs since August 2009.
Statistics are for the Salem Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Keizer.
The rate is slightly higher than the July rate, and is 0.1 percentage points higher than the statewide seasonally adjusted rate of 10.6 percent. It’s also 0.1 percent lower than the unemployment rate one year prior.
Seasonally adjusted employment fell by 600 jobs between July and August, which Regional Economist Patrick O’Connor partially attributes to 2010 U.S. Census jobs ending.
In addition, he stated, many of Salem’s seasonal jobs are in food manufacturing. With crops growing slowly, it could be that hiring is moved back several weeks, he said.
In key sectors
• Consturction was flat for the month.
• Manufacturing gained 300 jobs in August.
• Professional and business services was flat, but is showing positive over-the-year growth of 400 jobs.
• Retail added 100 jobs in August, but has lost 600 in the past year.
• Federal government shed 100 jobs, with the state adding 200 jobs and local governments adding 100 ositions.
“In recent months the Salem MSA’s unemployment rate has crept back up and is back up to the levels experienced in 2009,” O’Connor said. “A bright spot is that in September and October employment should grow as food processors hit their seasonal peak and the new school year starts up.”