Oregon Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.2 Percent in July

Oregon’s unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in July, an increase from June’s rate of 4.8 percent. The rate has risen from a record low of 4.5 percent in the three months of March, April and May. Oregon’s labor force, which reached a record high of 2,058,000 in July, has grown rapidly in recent months as the number of people employed grew along with growth in the number of unemployed. Oregon’s unemployment rate remained close to the U.S. unemployment rate, which was unchanged at 4.9 percent in July.
 
Oregon’s payroll employment added 3,800 jobs in July after a revised gain of 1,900 in June. Several service-providing industries expanded rapidly, while the two major goods-producing industries contracted. July gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+2,100 jobs); professional and business services (+1,600); leisure and hospitality (+1,200); transportation, warehousing and utilities (+1,100); and other services (+1,000). Meanwhile, the industries with the biggest declines in July were manufacturing (-1,200 jobs) and construction (-1,100).
 
July’s job gains were a bit weaker than the average job gains of the past 12 months. This may have to do with recent months’ weaker trends in manufacturing and construction. Manufacturing lost 800 jobs, or -0.4 percent, over the past year. Despite July’s losses, construction still added 7,500 jobs, or 9.2 percent, since July 2015. Professional and business services grew rapidly as well, adding 15,700 jobs, or 6.9 percent, over the past 12 months. Other services was third fastest, growing by 4,100 jobs, or 6.7 percent. Four other industries each expanded by between 3.4 percent and 4.1 percent over the past 12 months: transportation, warehousing and utilities (+2,400 jobs or 4.1%); leisure and hospitality (+7,100 jobs or 3.7%); health care and social assistance (+7,600 jobs or 3.4%) and private educational services (+1,200 jobs or 3.4%).
 
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.
 
The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.
 
The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month’s release incorporates the January, February and March 2016 tax records data. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.
 
For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state’s WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to: www.WorkSourceOregon.org.
 
Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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