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Job vacancies improve in state, nationally

Economy — Fewer seeking unemployment as job openings increase


Oregon businesses had nearly 50,000 vacancies this summer, the most since spring 2008. This equates to three unemployed people to each private-sector vacancy, as compared to four last year, according to a report released by the Oregon Employment Department. For the Willamette Valley, there were 12,212 vacancies. This includes Clatsop, Columbia, Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, among others.

This trend held true nationally as well, with 4.8 million job openings in August, the highest level of openings since January 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the vacancies, employers report these positions are difficult to fill. In Oregon, this is true for about 60 percent of the positions. This is because many open jobs didn’t attract a large pool of candidates, and those that did apply weren’t qualified.

The healthcare field held the most open positions, with 17 percent of the total available slots. Healthcare, administrative and waste services had the most vacancies, with more than half of all available at 54 percent. The field with the least availabilities was private educational services.

With these increased vacancies, the unemployment rate has decreased as well. For September, the national rate dropped to 5.9 percent. This coupled with the number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropping — down 8,000 to 287,000 requests, the lowest in eight years — continue to indicate a renewing economy.

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