Oregon Unemployment Ties Record Low

Photo: Ford, Brad

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

In July, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,800 jobs, following a gain of 5,700 jobs in June. July’s gain was nearly double the average increase of 3,700 jobs per month during the prior 12 months.

Over-the-month job gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+3,400 jobs); government (+1,600); professional and business services (+1,000); and construction (+900). Declines were largest in financial activities (-600 jobs); manufacturing (-500); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-500); and private educational services (-500).

Over the past 12 months, three major industries—health care and social assistance; leisure and hospitality; and government—have added nearly all of Oregon’s net new jobs, with each up by close to 10,000 jobs while expanding by about 4% to 5%.

Health care and social assistance grew by 13,900 jobs, or 5.2%, contributing the most new jobs since July 2022. Each component of health care rapidly added jobs in the past 12 months. Nursing and residential care facilities added 2,800 jobs, or 5.7%, since July 2022. The industry remains slightly below its peak employment, reached in early 2020. Similarly, hospitals added 1,900 jobs, or 3.3%, over the year. Despite the recent growth, the industry was slightly below its March 2020 peak employment level. Meanwhile, ambulatory healthcare services added 2,400 jobs, or 2.5%, in the past 12 months and reached a record high of 98,300 jobs in July.

Durable goods manufacturing cut 700 jobs in July. Since July 2022, several of its component industries each cut a few hundred jobs. The bright spot was transportation equipment manufacturing, which added 400 jobs over the past 12 months. Nondurable goods manufacturing added 1,300 jobs.

Source: Oregon Employment Department

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