Wednesday, February 13, 2002
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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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge