Unemployment rate continues to rise in county, nation

Oregon's State Employment deparment recently announced that the number of unemployed persons continued to rise nationwide in December, reaching 8.3 million (after seasonal adjustment).

The unemployment rate was up by 0.2 percentage point to 5.8 percent nationally. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons increased by 2.6 million and the unemployment rage rose by 1.8 percent.

Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in Dec. from 7.4 in November. The increase marked the sixth consecutive month in which the rate continued to rise.

Hood River County's unemployment rate gained 0.8 percentage points in December to measure 9.1 percent -- nearly 4 percent above the national average.

Hood River County's nonfarm payroll was up 240 jobs in December to total 9,320. Goods-producing industries posted a loss of 40 jobs in December, while service-producing industries added 280.

In Hood River County's goods-producing sector, construction and mining posted a loss of 20 jobs. In manufacturing, durable good production posted a loss of 20 jobs and nondurable goods also cut 10 from its payroll.

Winter helped by producing service jobs in recreation and lodging services where there was a gain of 510 jobs. Ten more jobs were also reported in the finance, insurance, real estate and health service areas.

Job losses were the heaviest in the wholesale trade, where nearly 140 jobs were lost -- 50 in local government. The good-producing sector also lost 80 jobs -- all in durable goods manufacturing.

Around the region, Sherman County posted an 11.7 percent unemployment rate, Wasco County was at 10.6 percent, Wheeler at 10.2 percent and Gilliam County at 7.1 percent.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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