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Oregon adds 3,300 jobs as April jobless rate holds steady


Oregon’s total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 3,300 in April, following a gain of 6,500 jobs in March, as the state’s economic growth appears to have accelerated in recent months, the Oregon Employment Department reported Tuesday.

Monthly gains were strongest in health care and social assistance and in leisure and hospitality, which each added 1,000 jobs. Several other major industries added at least 500 jobs: manufacturing(+700 jobs), government (+600), and construction (+500). Only one major industry shed a substantial number of jobs: professional and business services dropped 1,000 jobs.

Looking at longer-term trends, Oregon’s economic growth appears to have accelerated, the economists said. Since April 2018, total payroll employment is up 48,200 jobs, or 2.5 percent. Job gains were relatively weak, averaging 2,300 per month, during mid-2017 through mid-2018.

More recently, job growth has averaged 5,400 jobs per month since September 2018. The most rapid gains over the past year were in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+4,900 jobs, or 7.6%) and construction (+7,000 jobs, or 6.7%). Job gains were widespread, with six other major industries adding between 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent to their jobs base in the past 12 months.

Job totals for recent months were revised upward substantially, indicating more rapid hiring in Oregon in late 2018 and early this year. Total nonfarm employment was revised upward by approximately 10,000 jobs for each month of December 2018 through March 2019. Upward revisions were most pronounced in professional and business services (revised upward by 2,600 jobs); construction (+1,800); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+1,800); retail trade (+1,600); and finance and insurance (+1,500).

Oregon’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 4.3 percent in April. It was 4.4 percent in March. Oregon’s unemployment rate has held within a tight range between 4.0 percent and 4.4 percent for the past 2 1/2 years, since November 2016. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the April county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, May 21st, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for May on Tuesday, June 18th.


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 October, November and December 2018 tax records data. In addition, data for July through September 2018 were revised by a total of up to 800 jobs per month. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

The PDF version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state’s WorkSource Oregon centers or go to:

Equal Opportunity program — auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

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