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Oregon's Economy Shows Signs Of Improvement

Amerlia Templeton/OPBWorkers grade lumber at the Rough and Ready mill in Cave Junction, which is closing in May. Josephine is one of 17 Oregon counties that has lost an annual federal aid  payment to timber-dependent counties, and faces a funding crisis.

By KRISTIAN FODEN-VENCIL
Oregon Public Broadcasting 

No state unemployment numbers are coming out this week, because of the government shutdown.  But theOregon Employment Department says it has evidence the economy continues to improve.

Oregon had almost 43,000 job vacancies this summer, according to a state survey.

That's the highest number since the beginning of the Great Recession.

That means there were about four unemployed people for every job vacancy.

Now that's above the national average, which is about three people for every vacancy.

But Employment Department spokesman, Tom Fuller says it's still down from a high of about six.

"The occupations that had the most openings were things like office and administrative support. Personal care and service," he said. "Food preparation, which makes sense, a lot of restaurants are out there opening up for serving more people in the summer. But also building and grounds cleaning and maintenance and also health care."

Both the Washington and Oregon Employment Departments said last week that because the federal statistics weren't processed due to the shutdown, the release of September's jobless numbers would be delayed.

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