Oregon Jobs Decline, Unemployment Rises

Photo: Ford, Brad

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment shed 600 jobs in September. Although a small decline, this was the first drop in jobs following 12 consecutive months of gains. Losses in September were largest in other services (-1,500 jobs), government (-1,100 jobs), and financial activities (-700). These losses were balanced by gains in professional and business services (+1,400), health care and social assistance (+1,000), manufacturing (+800), and leisure and hospitality (+600).

Oregon’s private sector added 500 jobs in September, reaching an all-time high of 1,676,100. This was 4,400 jobs, or 0.3%, above its pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Other services—one of the smallest of the major industries, employing 61,200 in September—has pulled down overall jobs in recent months. It cut 2,700 jobs between July and September, following a spike upward of 4,200 jobs between April and July. In September, a diverse grouping of establishments cut jobs including civic and social organizations, religious organizations, and nail salons.

Health care and social assistance rebounded substantially this year following a lackluster performance in 2021. It added 10,800 jobs during January through September 2022. Each of its four component industries added jobs during that time, with two growing at the fastest rate and adding the most jobs: ambulatory health care services (+4,500 jobs) and social assistance (+3,100).

Accommodation and food services continued to recover from the Pandemic Recession, adding 2,400 jobs in September and gaining 16,100 jobs over the past 12 months. Despite this recent growth, it is still 6,500 below its pre-pandemic high reached in February 2020.

Oregon’s unemployment rate edged up to 3.8% in September from 3.7% in August, and was above the recent low of 3.5% reached in May, June, and July. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate declined from 3.7% in August to 3.5% in September. Despite slight differences in their movements in recent months, both the U.S. unemployment rate and Oregon’s unemployment rate have each averaged 3.6% since March.

Source: Oregon Employment Department

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