Oregon's unemployment rate drops to 4.1 percent

Photo: Metro Creative Graphics

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in June, essentially unchanged from 4.2 percent in May. According to the Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for 32 months, dating back to November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent in June.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has been at or near record low levels for nearly three years. Of those unemployed in June, nearly half were either new or returning to the labor force. At 46.9 percent, the share of unemployed who were entrants was the highest since May 1999. Another 38.5 percent were unemployed due to a job loss.

In June, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll enrollment increased by 900 jobs. The jobs gain in June followed a revised loss of 200 jobs in May. Monthly gains for June were strongest in professional and business services, which added 1,200 jobs, and in manufacturing, which added 900 jobs. Two industries with larger losses in June were leisure and hospitality and retail trade.

Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economy continued to grow rapidly. Since June 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 46,100 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Oregon’s job growth rate over the past 12 months was faster than the U.S. job growth rate of 1.5 percent.

The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities and construction. Job gains were widespread, with three other major industries, each adding between 2.6 percent and 3.7 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months. These industries were manufacturing, professional and business services, and health care and social assistance.

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