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PORTLAND-Oregon’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.3% in July, according to the state employment department, one-tenth higher than the previous two months. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 5.9% in July and has ranged between 5.8% and 6.0% since April.

Oregon’s seasonally adjusted non-farm payroll employment declined by 2,600 jobs in July following job gains in the three prior months. “This measure of employment has not shown a consistent trend during the first seven months of the year and is now close to its December 2001 level,” states the department.

The employment decline this past month was primarily concentrated in economic sectors relating to education, particularly the private sector, which lost 3,700 jobs, 1,300 more than would be considered normal due to summer vacation.

The good news is job gains were seen in many manufacturing sectors for the fourth straight month. Manufacturing employed 233,100 in July, adding 5,900 jobs for the month, which is a more than the typical increase for the time of year.

“These recent gains are noteworthy in that last year manufacturing bore the brunt of Oregon’s economic decline,” states the department. This past March, the industry employed just 219,600–its lowest employment level since January 1995 when 219,300 were employed.

Manufacturing industries that are not performing include primary metals, printing and publishing, and engineering and management services. Personal services, business services, automotive and repair services, and social services also all shed employees in July.

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