CURRY JOBLESS RATE DROPS

May 26, 2000 11:00 pm

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Employment in Curry County indicated an improved economy after the jobless rate dropped 1.7 percent during April.

The rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 6.4 percent during the month, according to the Oregon Employment Department.

Aprils rate is considered lower than the 7.8 percent rate reported in April 1999, however department officials said that because of revised estimating procedures, data should not be used to compare unemployment figures.

In Curry County, the labor force in April was 8,260 with 530 people considered unemployed, officials said.

The labor force figures reflect an increase of 100 people during the month. At the same time, the number of unemployed dropped by 130.

In neighboring Coos County, the rate fell a point from 7.6 to 6.6 percent during the month. The rate in April 1999 was 8.8 percent, officials said.

To the south, Del Norte Countys unemployment rate was reported at 7.5 percent, according to the California Employment Development Department.

On the South Coast, nonfarm employment increased in April. Coos Countys job estimate rose by 260 and Curry County gained 130 nonfarm jobs, officials said.

Manufacturing employment changed little in April. Coos County gained primarily in seafood processing, while Curry had a small upswing in wood products, officials said.

Coos added 220 nonmanufacturing jobs. Retail trade and non-health services had the greatest increases, officials said. Federal employment rose by 40 because of the hiring of temporary census workers.

Currys nonfarm job total expanded by 100. There, too, trade and services posted the largest increases. Census hiring boosted federal job totals as well, officials said.

The total number of census workers should increase considerably when data for May are available, officials said.

Statewide the rate fell to a near record low of 4.7 percent, down from 5.5 percent from the previous month, officials said.

The department reports the labor force climbed 9,000 to 1.82 million during the month. The number of unemployed was 85,300.

Rates in the state ranged from a high of 15.0 percent in Grant County, which was the only county with a double-digit rate, to a low of 2.1 percent in Benton County.

The unemployment rate in California dropped to 4.8 percent from 5.0 percent in March. Department officials in that state report a labor force of 16.9 million with 808,000 unemployed.

Rates in California ranged from a high of 22.2 percent in Imperial County to a low of 1.4 percent in San Mateo and Marin counties.

Nationwide the rate fell from 4.3 percent in March to 3.7 percent in April, officials said.

Officials said there were 5.18 million unemployed out of a labor force of 140.4 million.