Oregon added jobs last year, but mortgage workers are still struggling KMVU Fox 26 Medford

OREGON, USA – Economic organization reported this week Oregon continues to see a strong labor market, with many sectors returning from the pandemic. Despite a slight increase in the unemployment rate at 4.5%, up from 3.5% this summer, employers added thousands of new jobs in December.

“The labor force added 6,100 jobs during the month,” said State Labor Secretary Gail Krumenauer. “Manufacturing increased by 2,400 jobs per month. We saw an increase of 1,300 jobs in construction in December and we also saw 1,100 jobs added in professional services and business.”

In total in 2022, employers added more than 81,000 jobs.

“Tcap is very strong by historical standards, and we also saw unemployment, especially in the middle of the year, ge.ti down all the time close to all the time record low again and now we see a very strong labor market for employees, there are many job opportunities out there that they can choose from,” Krumenauer said.

However, some sectors, such as education, leisure and hospitality, and other sectors of the service industry have struggled to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment. Another area affected: finance and insurance.

“Approximately 1,500 jobs have been lost in the past year, so there has been a slight decline in jobs and money and insurance,” said Krumenauer.

In that group, no one knows that fact better than employees in the mortgage industry like Donna Rogers, Melanie Richards, and Kristi Rowe. They have been working in this field for over 20 years.

“Everyone says the economy is improving and it is, but it’s not for our business,” explained Richards. “Our industry, for the most part, is an interest-based segment, and as you know, last year interest rates doubled from 3, 3-and-a-half, over 7% And that’s why people don’t want to borrow because they can’t afford it, especially when they’re buying a house for the first time.

Rogers and Rowe are senior loan officers, and Richards is a secretary. They have been out of work since last summer.

“Even though things are slow, you’re never ready until you get that call,” Rogers said.

Despite their constant efforts to find work in this and other industries, they have hit many road blocks.

“Every mortgage job there is, there are 25 to 3,000 people applying for these jobs, and you know, I used Indeed and it will show a lot of applicants, and it’s all over the country ,” Rowe said.

They are worried that their unemployment benefits will soon run out in a few months. Unemployment insurance benefits usually last for 26 weeks.

“It’s scary to know we’re not going to get some kind of extension.”

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