Oregon added 3,300 jobs in April, following a gain of 6,500 jobs in March. Monthly gains were strongest in health care and social assistance and in leisure and hospitality, which each added 1,000 jobs. Several other major industries added at least 500 jobs: manufacturing (+700 jobs), government (+600), and construction (+500). Only one major industry shed a substantial number of jobs: professional and business services dropped 1,000 jobs.
Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economic growth appears to have accelerated. Since April 2018, total payroll employment is up 48,200 jobs, or 2.5 percent. Job gains were relatively weak, averaging 2,300 per month, during mid-2017 through mid-2018. More recently, job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September 2018. The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,900 jobs, or 7.6%) and construction (+7,000 jobs, or 6.7%). Job gains were widespread, with six other major industries adding between 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months.
Job totals for recent months were revised upward substantially, indicating more rapid hiring in Oregon in late 2018 and early this year. Total nonfarm employment was revised upward by approximately 10,000 jobs for each month of December 2018 through March 2019. Upward revisions were most pronounced in professional and business services (revised upward by 2,600 jobs); construction (+1,800); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+1,800); retail trade (+1,600); and finance and insurance (+1,500).
Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.3 percent in April. It was 4.4 percent in March. Oregon’s unemployment rate has held within a tight range between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for the past two and a half years, since November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March.
Source: Oregon Employment Department