Oregon Jobs Recovery Slows in July

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by Anna Johnson, Senior Economic Analyst, for Employment in Oregon

Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 20,500 jobs in July, following a gain of 57,000 jobs in June. Over the past three months, employers added back 38 percent of the jobs that were cut in March and April. 

Over-the-month job gains in July were largest in leisure and hospitality (+7,300 jobs); government (+5,700); retail trade (+3,600); health care and social assistance (+3,100); and professional and business services (+1,900). Meanwhile, three of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs in July: construction (-1,900 jobs); manufacturing (-1,500); and information (-1,200). 

Over the past five months the major industries were impacted differently by the pandemic. Leisure and hospitality suffered by far the largest job loss during March and April, shedding 118,700 jobs during the outset of the pandemic-induced drop in business. Then, between April and July, the industry regained half of the loss, as it rebounded by 58,900 jobs over the past three months. Three industries regained more than half of their lost jobs. Health care and social assistance regained two-thirds of its lost jobs, with a rebound of 18,700 jobs over the past three months. During that time, two industries regained nearly two-thirds of their lost jobs: other services (+9,300 jobs, or a 63% rebound) and retail trade (+13,900 jobs, or 62%). 

However, several key industries experienced substantial job losses in March and April but have not rebounded substantially or have even declined further over the past three months. The following industries shed jobs between April and July: government (-5,200 jobs); manufacturing (-3,100); and information (-1,900). Most of the other major industries have regained fewer than 5,000 jobs each over the past three months while regaining less than a third of jobs lost during March and April. These industries include construction; financial activities; private education; professional and business services; and transportation, warehousing, and utilities. 

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.4 percent in July from 11.6 percent, as revised, in June. In July, Oregon’s unemployment rate was very close to the U.S. unemployment rate; the U.S. rate dropped to 10.2 percent in July from 11.1 percent in June. 

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