Benton County’s Unemployment Rate at 3.2 Percent

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Benton County’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in May, essentially unchanged from its revised rate of 3.3 percent in April. Oregon’s statewide unemployment rate in May was 4.2 percent, essentially unchanged from its revised April rate of 4.3 percent.

Benton County’s employment gains in May were more than normal; total nonfarm employment increased 300 jobs, when an employment gain of 190 jobs would be expected. As a result, seasonally adjusted employment increased 110 between April and May. Benton County’s employment level was 5,030, or 12.9 percent, above its pre-recession employment peak in November 2007.

Benton County’s employment has added 330 over the past year, a 0.7 percent increase. Benton County’s employment growth has been outpaced by the state and the nation. Oregon’s employment grew 2.5 percent and the U.S. grew 1.6 percent.

Benton County’s private sector added 480 jobs over the past year, growing 1.7 percent. The public sector shed 150 jobs, down 0.9 percent.

The fastest-growing private-sector industries over the past year were mining, logging, and construction (+200 jobs, or 13.7%); education and health services (+260 jobs, or 3.6%); and leisure and hospitality (+110 jobs, or 2.6%).

The most recent month is preliminary, the prior month is revised. Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Civilian labor force includes employed and unemployed individuals 16 years and older by place of residence. Employed includes payroll employment, self-employed, unpaid family workers, domestics, agriculture, and labor disputants. Unemployment rate is calculated by dividing unemployed by civilian labor force.

Nonfarm Payroll Employment: Official Oregon Series. Data are by place of work and cover full- and part-time employees who worked or received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. The data exclude the self-employed, volunteers, unpaid family workers, and domestics.
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