Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose 5,700 jobs in March, following a decline of 1,200 jobs in February. Five major industries each added close to 1,000 jobs in March: professional and business services (+1,300 jobs), government (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+900), other services (+800), and leisure and hospitality (+700). None of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in March.
Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in March, unchanged from 4.4 percent in February. For 29 consecutive months, dating back to November 2016, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8 percent in both February and March of this year.
Job gains in recent months are an indication of continued moderate economic expansion in Oregon, despite the tight labor market as was evident from the near-record low unemployment rate.
Since March 2018, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment increased by 32,600 jobs, or 1.7 percent. This was a slight acceleration from annual growth rates averaging 1.5 percent over the prior nine months. Over the past 12 months, the U.S. expanded at the same rate as Oregon: 1.7 percent.
Over the past 12 months, transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+3,400 jobs, or 5.3%) grew at the fastest rate of Oregon’s major industries, due to growth at warehouses, fulfillment centers, and package delivery firms. Construction employment grew by 4,400 jobs, or 4.2 percent, as growth in the industry moderated from rapid expansion in recent years. Manufacturing added 5,500 jobs, or 2.8 percent, led by computer and electronic product manufacturing, which has added 1,800 jobs in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, six of the major industries were relatively flat over the year, with none gaining more than 700 jobs.
Source: Oregon Employment Department