Oregon's Unemployment Rate Drops To Near Record Low

Photo: Ford, Brad

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in June, down from 3.7% in May. This was the fifth consecutive monthly drop in the unemployment rate, down from a recent high of 4.8% in January. The June rate was near Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which was reached in November and December 2019. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in June 2023, which was very close to Oregon’s June rate.

In June, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 5,700 jobs, following a revised gain of 4,200 jobs in May. June’s job gain was the largest monthly increase since January, when 9,600 jobs were added.

Over-the-month job gains were largest in government (+2,400 jobs); other services (+1,800); leisure and hospitality (+1,600); and professional and business services (+1,500). Declines were largest in wholesale trade (-1,300 jobs); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-1,000); and manufacturing (-1,000).

Payroll employment grew by 2.3% over the past 12 months. Over-the-year job growth decelerated to about 2% in the past five months from 12-month growth rates that were above 3% during the economic recovery period, which included much of the prior two years.

Since June 2022, several industries have continued to expand rapidly, while others have been relatively flat or declining. Construction, which added 6,500 jobs, or 5.7%, grew at one of the fastest rates of the major industries. In addition, the following three major industries each expanded by close to 4%, while adding close to 10,000 jobs each: leisure and hospitality; health care and social assistance; and government. However, a few industries cut jobs by about 2,000 each in the past 12 months, including manufacturing (-1.1%); wholesale trade (-1.9%); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-3.0%).

Source: Oregon Employment Department

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