A graph from the Oregon Employment Department, released May 19, illustrates job losses during previous recessions and how they compare to the current economic downturn. (Courtesy/Oregon Employment Department)

Oregon’s unemployment rate has risen to 14.2% as the economy has hemorrhaged jobs in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Numbers released by the Oregon Employment Department Tuesday show that the number of unemployed Oregonians rose to 300,420 in April. Before the pandemic, Oregon had a near-record-low unemployment rate of 3.5% for the month of March. The precipitous rise is the highest rate and the largest over-the-month increase in records kept by the department.

The state agency reported 253,400 jobs were lost in April - one out of every eight positions in Oregon. That followed a loss of 13,200 in March.

With restaurants, bars and other accommodations closed, Oregon’s leisure and hospitality industry saw the worst losses. Over half of the industry’s jobs, or 108,400 positions, were lost.

Other industries that shed the most jobs include health care and social assistance, which lost 26,800 jobs; retail trade, which lost 22,500 jobs; and professional and business services, which lost 19,200 jobs.

Nationally, the unemployment rate rose from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April.

The details of the unemployment picture by county in Oregon is scheduled to be released next week.

Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or jake@salemreporter.com or @jakethomas2009.

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