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CURRY JOBLESS RATE DECLINES IN MAY

GOLD BEACH Curry Countys unemployment rate dropped more than a percentage point in May to 5.3 percent.

The rate is down from the 6.4 percent reported in April, which was the same rate reported in May 1999, said officials from the Oregon Employment Department.

Curry County followed the state with declining unemployment, officials said. On a different note, Coos County did not follow the state trends. Its rate rose slightly from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent in May. The rate, however, is lower than the 7.8 percent reported in May 1999. The nations rate also rose.

Oregons South Coast non-farm employment increased substantially in May, officials said. Coos Countys employment estimate rose by 410. Curry County gained 320 jobs.

Manufacturing employment increased by 20 in Coos and 10 in Curry County. Curry County logging employment was a little less than seasonal average, while lumber and wood products employment remained stable. A gain of 30 in Coos County lumber and wood products employment was countered by a loss of 20 in food products manufacturing, officials said.

Coos County non-manufacturing employment increased by 400 in May, boosted by nearly 100 temporary census workers. Seasonal increases in eating and drinking places, along with hotels and lodges contributed to the employment gains, officials said. Miscellaneous retail employment increased by 40.

Curry County non-manufacturing jobs increased by 300, with nearly 80 census workers added for the month. Seasonal employment increases in tourism related industries such as eating and drinking places and lodging places accounted for most of the increase.

The department reports that 8,000 were employed out of a labor force of 8,450 in Curry County. The county gained 200 on it labor force and lost 80 on its unemployment roles.

Statewide the rate was reported at 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent. The department reports 81,400 unemployed out of a labor force of 1.81 million.

The highest unemployment rate in the state was 14.8 percent in Morrow County. It was one of two counties reporting double-digit rates. The other county, Grant, reported 11.2 percent.

Benton County, with an unemployment rate of 2 percent, was the lowest, officials said.

Nationwide, the rate climbed 0.2 percent to 3.9 percent in May. Its labor force was reported at 140.39 million. Officials said there were 5.43 million unemployed.

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