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Jobs and unemployment up in Washington and Oregon

Unemployment numbers in Washington and Oregon rose last month, even though both states also added jobs.

Washington’s jobless rate rose to 4% in November, and the state added about 13,000 jobs.

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, though it added 8,500.

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State economists on both sides of the Columbia River say, even if jobless rates are edging up, they’re still low by historical standards.

There are several reasons why unemployment rates can rise even when more payroll jobs are being filled. Gail Krumenauer with the Oregon Employment Department says self-employment had been rising in the state, until recently.

“So we’re seeing a bit of a reversal in that now, where self-employment has been declining for the past few months," Krumenauer said.

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If more self-employed people report being out of work, that could push Oregon’s unemployment rate up.

Read more by Kate Davidson at Oregon Public Radio.