Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.2 percent in November from 4.3 percent in October, remaining near the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.1 percent in November. “Oregon’s low unemployment rate and other positive labor force measures indicate there’s a shrinking pool of available job seekers,” said Nick Beleiciks, Oregon’s state employment economist. “Businesses are having difficulty finding applicants, and that has slowed Oregon’s job growth in the second half of this year.”
In November, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,800 jobs, following a revised gain of 7,900 jobs in October. Monthly losses were concentrated in professional and business services, which cut 2,000 jobs, and in manufacturing, which cut 1,700. Counterbalancing these job losses were gains of 1,300 in other services and 1,200 in leisure and hospitality.
The job losses in November, coupled with the downward revision to October, slowed the pace of Oregon’s over-the-year growth rate. Since November 2016, Oregon has added 30,600 nonfarm payroll jobs, which equals an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent. Oregon is now gaining jobs at a slightly faster pace than the national growth rate of 1.4 percent over the past 12 months. This is a change after a long stretch of growth that far outpaced the national growth rate.
Construction continues to lead Oregon’s over-the-year gains as it added 7,400 jobs, equaling 7.9 percent growth. Only two other industries expanded by more than 2 percent: health care and social assistance (+6,000 jobs, or 2.6%) and leisure and hospitality (+5,200 jobs, or 2.6%). Many of Oregon’s major industries expanded within the one-percent range. Professional and business services (+2,600 jobs, or 1.1%) growth has slowed dramatically, to about 1 percent, from about 4 percent per year throughout much of the prior seven years. Meanwhile, several industries have stopped growing, as wholesale trade; manufacturing; mining and logging; and other services each had roughly the same employment as a year ago.
Information provided by Oregon Employment Department