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Employment Department Hopes To Kickstart Statewide Hiring


Oregon’s Employment Department is hoping a series of job fairs this week will help Oregon businesses who are badly in need of workers. KLCC's Chris Lehman reports on efforts to kickstart hiring in Oregon.

The agency is dubbing Wednesday as “Back to Work Day.” They’re hoping that as Oregonians return from summer vacations and get their kids back in school, they’ll put applying for work on their “to do” list.

Oregon’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate has dropped to 5.2 percent from a pandemic high of more than 13 percent. Tens of thousands of jobs remain unfilled.

“The demand is everywhere," said Adalberto Rubio, a business analyst for the Employment Department. "Manufacturing, health care, hospitality. The restaurant industry is really hurting right now.”

The department is launching a campaign to help companies find workers. Rubio said hiring events are planned around the state on Wednesday, including some with drive-thru options to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Copyright 2021 KLCC. To see more, visit KLCC.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”