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Citys jobless rate surges

A hike in the number of people looking for work combined with an expected rise in the June unemployment rate caused Portland's jobless rate to jump to 8.8 percent last month, up from May's 8.1 percent.

The figure is the metro area's highest June unemployment rate in 20 years, according to an Oregon Employment Department report released Thursday.

The metro area's jobless rate continued to be higher than the state's, which rose to a 17-year high of 8.5 percent, the employment department reported last week.

'The unemployment rate always goes up in June,' said Amy Vander Vliet, regional economist for the department. But last month's hike 'is due to a surge in the number of people entering the labor force,' she said.

Mary Bellotti