Oregon job gains, unemployment up

Despite strong payroll job gains in recent months, Oregon’s unemployment rate edged up to 6.1 percent in August from 5.9 percent in July. However, the unemployment rate continues to be lower than last year, when in August 2014 it was 6.9 percent.


Oregon Employment Department

The state’s payroll employment continues to grow rapidly, adding 4,400 jobs in August, following a revised gain of 7,400 in July. In August, two major industries accounted for most of the gains, as leisure and hospitality added 2,100 and government added 1,600. The other 12 major industries performed close to their normal seasonal patterns.

Over the past 12 months, Oregon’s payroll employment has expanded by 60,400 jobs, or 3.5 percent. This is the state’s fastest job growth rate since February 2005. In terms of total jobs added during a 12-month period, the last time Oregon added more than 60,000 jobs was toward the end of the high-tech boom, when during the 12 months ending in May 1997, Oregon added 61,500 jobs.

Job gains over the past 12 months were widespread among the industries as nearly all of the major industries grew by between 3 percent and 5 percent. The fastest growing industries each rose by close to 5 percent: leisure and hospitality (+9,400 jobs, or 5.1 percent); retail trade (+9,700 jobs, or 4.9 percent); and transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,700 jobs, or 4.8 percent). Other key industries also grew rapidly over the year including manufacturing (+5,800 jobs, or 3.2 percent) and construction (+3,000 jobs, or 3.8 percent). None of the major industries cut jobs substantially during the period, but financial activities and mining and logging each were essentially flat.

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