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Hood River County unemployment dips slightly

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in April at 6.9 percent according to a report released Monday by the Oregon Employment Department. Compared with April 2013, Oregon’s unemployment rate fell by 1.0 percentage point over the year.

Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was little changed in April, falling by 0.1 percentage point to 5.4 percent, which was good enough to rank second, just behind Oregon’s lowest county rate, Benton County’s 5.3 percent. Compared with April 2013, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by 0.9 percentage point.

Spring killed off 210 jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation in Hood River County, with its total falling to 660 in April. Fortunately everyone had a good meal and maybe a beverage as food services and drinking places filled 70 openings, rising to 1,060. Daylight hours lifted spirits but the private sector still fell by 30 jobs in April to total 9,140, while government held its own with 1,350.

Over the past year, total nonfarm employment rose at an annual rate of 1.3 percent or 130 jobs in Hood River County. The private sector’s 1.6 percent, 140 job increase helped to offset an over-the-year loss of 0.7 percent of 10 jobs in government.

Leisure and hospitality led the way, rising by 100 jobs or 5.1 percent over the year, and manufacturing also impressed, rising by 80 jobs or 6.1 percent. Professional and business services hit the skids, with a drop of 70 jobs or 7.3 percent over the year cutting its total to 890.

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