Oregon’s Unemployment Rate 4.1 Percent in June

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in June, essentially unchanged from 4.2 percent in May. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for 32 months, dating back to November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate was little changed at 3.7 percent in June.

Oregon’s unemployment rate has been at or near record low levels for nearly three years. Of those unemployed in June, nearly half were either new or returning to the labor force. At 46.9 percent, the share of unemployed who were entrants was the highest since May 1999. Another 38.5 percent were unemployed due to a job loss. The remaining 14.7 percent had voluntarily left their previous job and were looking for work.

In June, Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 900 jobs. The jobs gain in June followed a revised loss of 200 jobs in May. Monthly gains for June were strongest in professional and business services, which added 1,200 jobs, and in manufacturing, which added 900 jobs. Two industries with large losses in June were leisure and hospitality (-1,000 jobs) and retail trade (-900 jobs). Other sectors were close to their usual seasonal pattern of job gains or losses for June.

Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economy continued to grow rapidly. Since June 2018, total nonfarm payroll employment was up 46,100 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Oregon’s job growth rate over the past 12 months was faster than the U.S. job growth rate of 1.5 percent.

The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,500 jobs, or 6.9%) and construction (+7,100 jobs, or 6.8%). Job gains were widespread, with three other major industries each adding between 2.6 percent and 3.7 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months. These industries were manufacturing (+7,100 jobs, or 3.7%), professional and business services (+8,800 jobs, or 3.5%), and health care and social assistance (+6,800 jobs, or 2.6%). During that time, none of the major industries cut a substantial number of jobs, although three industries showed little change: retail trade; financial activities; and mining and logging.

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