Skip to Content

Oregon adds 7,900 jobs; unemployment rate falls below 5% for first time since March 2020

MGN graphic

Government gains most jobs; retail trade sees job losses

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9% in August from 5.2% in July, the state Employment Department reported Tuesday. It's the first time Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 5% since March 2020, when the rate was 3.6%.

Oregon’s unemployment rate was below 5% in only two other periods since 1976, when comparable records began: during 14 consecutive months in the mid-1990s. when the rate dropped to as low as 4.5%; and during the 51 consecutive months during 2016 through March 2020, when the rate dropped to a record low of 3.3% in late 2019.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.2% in August, from 5.4% in July.

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 7,900 in August, following monthly gains averaging 10,300 in the prior seven months. Gains in August were largest in government (+3,500 jobs); wholesale trade (+1,400); leisure and hospitality (+1,200); and professional and business services (+1,000). Only one major industry cut jobs: retail trade (-1,900 jobs).

Since the low point of April 2020, at the economic depths of the COVID-induced recession, Oregon has recovered 204,700 jobs, or 72% of the jobs lost during the recession, the department said 

Leisure and hospitality added 1,200 jobs in August, following a gain of 6,100, as revised, in July. Despite these gains, it still accounts for the bulk of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since early 2020, with 44,300 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020. The industry has regained 60% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.

Employment in health care and social assistance has been relatively flat all year. This major industry recovered substantial jobs in mid- through late-2020, but is still down 10,400 jobs, or 4%, since its pre-recession peak of February 2020. Over the past year, nursing and residential care facilities has been especially weak, having lost 1,300 jobs since August 2020. Meanwhile, two component industries have expanded in the past 12 months: ambulatory health care services (+3,100 jobs) and social assistance (+1,100 jobs).

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the August county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Sep. 21, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for September on Tuesday, Oct. 19.

The PDF version of the news release 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.

To file a claim for unemployment benefits or get more information about unemployment programs, visit

KTVZ news sources



  1. Buckle up.. its about to get way worse with these disgusting vaccine mandates. Prepare to see companies shut down when a giant percentage of employees no longer work there. The communist liberal Democrats get their wish. One step closer to dictatorship.

    1. Its interesting Mcdonalds has stayed open by paying higher wages while jack in the box has been closed to pout for a year… its pretty clear which business model actually works

    2. Instead of working so hard to try and make it a political issue, isn’t it a shame that Americans can’t be pragmatic like the Europeans…vaxx, mask and get on with life.

  2. Thank you Governor Kate for making Oregon so great! As for the sore losers that can’t get passed the big lie, screw em. Any good news will cause them to have childish tantrums. sad

  3. I’m interested in where these 3100+ government jobs are? And why is there a need for 3100+ government jobs? Are they just creating needless jobs to help skew the stats? Also it sounds like they have created jobs but in reality people have just gone back to work to an existing job.

  4. Kate brown has done nothing but kill business and Oregon economy. She didn’t add any jobs, the lazy democrat supporters who lived the last year off free handouts had to go back to work. Oh and to answer you all who try to appear so smart but clearly aren’t..

    “The communist state is the dictatorship of the proletariat, where the advanced elements of the proletariat are the ruling class. In Marxist–Leninist thinking, the socialist state is the last repressive state since the next stage of development is that of pure communism, a classless and stateless society”

  5. Interesting. Cut the free handouts for unemployment and the slackers have to return to the labor force to pay for their own pot and booze. Now they need to pay their back rent. I noticed that the biggest increase in “jobs” was overlord staff by 3500 “jobs”, which departments? DMV needs a lot of help as I myself have been waiting for a title transfer since February. But hey, no worries, Creepy Sleepy China Joe Obiden will fix everything, just ask Hunter and the ATF!!!!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content