Merkley’s Statement on Oregon’s Unemployment Numbers

Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley
released a statement today following the announcement by the Oregon Employment
Department that Oregon’s unemployment rate has remained nearly unchanged at 12
percent for the month of April.

“For five straight months, Oregon’s unemployment rate
increased one percentage point every month.  While it is good news that we
didn’t see that kind of jump in April, Oregon’s unemployment rate is
unacceptable,” said Merkley.  “Oregonians are losing jobs they’ve had for
years while small business owners are being put through the painful process of
having to let go loyal employees.  We must act aggressively and create
sustainable jobs so that our working families don’t have to struggle to put food
on the table or send their kids to college.”


Oregon’s unemployment rate remained nearly unchanged from
the revised rate of 11.9 percent in March to 12 percent in April, which is
double the unemployment rate from one year ago.  Over 9,000 jobs were lost
in April, less than in previous months. 

“Working families are the foundation of a strong economy,” said Merkley. 
“We need to create a clean energy economy by modernizing our transportation
system and building the green energy vehicles of the future.  We need to
create jobs for our construction workers to retrofit our homes, buildings and
schools to make them more energy efficient.  We need to retrain workers
who have been left behind in our global economy and put them back to
work.  When we invest in our workers we are building a stronger Oregon and
a stronger nation.”

Industries that sustained the most job losses were construction and
manufacturing, cutting nearly 6,000 jobs.  The government sector posted
the largest job gains, adding 2,100 jobs to their payrolls. Educational and
health services as well as leisure and hospitality posted job gains of 1,000.