Saturday, August 24, 2013
Unemployment figures for the month of July have been released and show that Hood River County is in better economic straits than almost all other counties in Oregon.
According to the Oregon Employment Department, Hood River County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July 2013 was 6.2 percent — the lowest rate for all Oregon counties except for Benton, which has an unemployment rate of 6 percent. The July figures represent a slight improvement over June, when unemployment in Hood River County was listed at 6.3 percent. In July 2012, Hood River County’s unemployment was at 6.9 percent. Hood River County is more than a full point below the national unemployment rate, which was 7.4 percent for July.
Hood River County’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been since October 2008 — one month after the collapse of Wall Street heralded the start of the Great Recession.
Hood River County’s total nonfarm payroll employment (not seasonally adjusted) is also high for the five-county economic region that also includes Wheeler, Gilliam, Sherman, and Wasco counties. The county had 10,500 nonfarm payroll employees, which marked a 1.2-percent increase from the previous month. Hood River County was the only county in the five-county area to experience positive growth in this area. The state average for growth in nonfarm payroll employment was down 1.3 percent from the month of June.
For more in-depth statewide statistics, visit the Oregon Employment Department at http://bit.ly/14pmuhs
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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