Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.0 percent in July, the same as the revised June rate of 4.0 percent. This was Oregon’s lowest unemployment rate in the current series dating back to 1976. It tied the 4.0 percent unemployment rate reached in the state in May, June, and July 2018. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in both June and July 2019.
In July, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment added 2,400 jobs, following an over-the-month loss of 1,000 jobs, as revised, in June. Monthly gains for July were strongest in professional and business services (+1,300 jobs); health care and social assistance (+1,100); and construction (+800). Two industries cut more than 1,000 jobs in July: leisure and hospitality (??’1,100 jobs) and government (??’1,300).
Newly revised payroll employment figures show that there was minimal growth of only 2,000 jobs between December 2018 and March 2019, which was much weaker growth in the first quarter of 2019 than was originally estimated. Oregon’s total nonfarm employment for March is now pegged at 1,931,900 jobs.
Looking at longer-term trends, the new numbers show Oregon’s economy growing moderately for quite some time. Since July 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 29,600 jobs, or 1.6 percent. In fact, Oregon’s over-the-year job growth has averaged 1.6 percent during the past 16 months.
The most rapid gains since July 2018 were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,500 jobs, or 7.0%) and construction (+4,500 jobs, or 4.3%). Construction’s growth rate, although still rapid, has slowed from the 8.2 percent annual growth it averaged in 2015 through 2018. Several industries contributed to Oregon’s expansion since last July, including health care and social assistance (+8,200 jobs, or 3.2%); manufacturing (+5,000 jobs, or 2.6%); and professional and business services(+5,500 jobs, or 2.2%). However, six major industries were nearly flat or down over the past 12 months, led by retail trade (-2,800 jobs, or -1.3%) and information (-1,500 jobs, or ??’4.4%).
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, August 20th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Tuesday, September 17th.
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.
The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.
The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month’s release incorporates the January, February and March 2019 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.
The PDF version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at www.QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit www.QualityInfo.org, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.
For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state’s WorkSource Oregon centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.
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