Jobs Increase With Unemployment Rates

Photo: Ford, Brad

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.1% in October from 3.8% in September and was above the recent low of 3.5% reached in May, June and July. October was the first month Oregon’s unemployment rate was above 4% since January, when the rate was 4.2%. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate rose from 3.5% in September to 3.7% in October.

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 5,200 jobs in October, following a loss of 500 jobs in September. The gains in October were largest in financial activities (+2,500 jobs), manufacturing (+1,100), health care and social assistance (+1,100), leisure and hospitality (+800), and construction (+700). These gains were partially offset by losses in retail trade (-700 jobs) and government (-600).

Oregon’s private sector added 5,800 jobs in October, reaching another all-time high of 1,682,300. This was 10,600 jobs, or 0.6%, above this sector’s pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Financial activities added 2,500 jobs in October, bouncing back from job declines totaling 1,600 between June and September. Job gains in October were strongest in real estate and rental and leasing, which added 1,900, as firms in the following industries added workers: rental centers and lessors of buildings and dwellings. 

Construction continued its rapid expansion of the past 12 months, when it added 8,800 jobs, or 7.9% growth. It employed 120,900 in October, another record high, which was well above construction’s pre-recession total of 112,300 in February 2020.

In contrast to the rapid growth of many of Oregon’s industries, retail trade trended downward this year. It employed 208,500 in October, which was a loss of 2,900 jobs during the first 10 months of the year. Since October 2021, general merchandise stores cut 2,300 jobs, which was the most of the retail component industries. Two other retail industries shedding jobs over the year included motor vehicle and parts dealers (-900 jobs) and building material and garden supply stores (-800).

Source: Oregon Employment Department

Washington’s economy gained an estimated 5,400 jobs (seasonally adjusted) in October. Job growth was highest in the following industries: Leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services, government, transportation, warehousing and utilities. Collectively, these industries gained 10,800 jobs. Job loss was highest in the information industry, which lost 5,900 jobs. 

Washington’s monthly unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.7% to 3.8% in October.

"October’s rise in payroll employment is positive news, even as employment growth begins to moderate,” said the Employment Security Department’s (ESD) State Economist Paul Turek. “The demand for workers has been resilient. "

Visit ESD’s website to view the entire Monthly Employment Report for October.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 34,613 people in October, a decrease of 1,239 paid claims over the previous month. Decreases in paid claims within the educational services and administrative and support services contributed to the overall decrease in paid claims over the month.

National unemployment rate

The national unemployment rate increased in October from 3.5% to a preliminary rate of 3.7%. For comparison, the national unemployment rate (revised) for October 2021 was 4.6%.

Updated preliminary data for September 2022

  • The September 2022 preliminary estimated gain of 1,500 jobs was revised upwards to a gain of 7,900 jobs.
  • The seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for September was confirmed at 3.7%.

Source: Washington Employment Security

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