Merkley: Oregon Unemployment Continues to Climb, Recovery Act to Spur Job Growth

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement following the Oregon Employment Department’s announcement that the state’s unemployment rate climbed to almost 10 percent in January:

“While the entire nation is feeling the effects of the current economic crisis, Oregon industries have been hit especially hard,” said Senator Merkley.  “Oregon’s unemployment rate has increased one percentage point each month for the last four months and has now reached a staggering 10 percent.  Almost 215,000 Oregonians are out of work – the most since World War II.

“Recently, I joined with President Obama and my colleagues in Congress to pass an economic recovery plan that will create jobs and invest in our economic future.  We’re going to put people to work in Oregon rebuilding our communities, making homes and businesses more energy efficient, and thinning our forests to protect against wildfire.

“We aren’t going to create hundreds of thousands of Oregon jobs overnight, but if we work together to invest in American families, restore accountability and oversight to our financial systems, and build the foundation to compete in the 21st century, I am confident that we will not only put our economy back on track but emerge from this test even stronger and more prosperous.”