State's rate continues to closely track nation's, but jobs recovery lags slightly
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon’s unemployment rate edged down to 3.7% in April, from 3.8% in March, reaching its lowest level in more than two years, the Oregon Employment Department reported Wednesday.
The jobless rate is now close to Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which occurred in each of the four months of November 2019 through February 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in both March and April 2022.
Throughout the past two years, Oregon and the nation have experienced similar trends as their economies and labor markets have recovered from the pandemic recession. Both saw their unemployment rates spike to unusual highs of more than 13% by April 2020, followed by a drop to below 7% six months later, the department said.
For the past 21 months, Oregon’s unemployment rate has been within a half percentage point of the U.S. unemployment rate.
Payroll employment trends have also been similar for Oregon and the U.S., with both losing roughly 14% of payroll jobs between February and April 2020, then recovering roughly a third of those jobs three months later, followed by a more gradual recovery leading up to April 2022.
However, Oregon has slightly lagged the U.S. jobs recovery overall, with the U.S. adding back 95% of jobs lost during the pandemic-induced recession, while Oregon has only recovered 88% of the jobs.
In April, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 4,200 jobs, following a revised gain of 7,000 jobs in March. Over-the-month gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+1,800 jobs), manufacturing (+1,300), and professional and business services (+1,300). The only major industry to cut at least 1,000 jobs was other services (-1,000 jobs).
Professional and business services has grown rapidly and consistently over the past two years. In April, employment reached 261,700, another record high for the industry. Recent revisions to the jobs tallies boosted the past six months’ employment upward by about 3,000 above original estimates.
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the April county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, May 24, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for May on Wednesday, June 15.
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 2021 tax records data. In addition, data for July through September 2021 were revised by a total of up to 2,600 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 can be found at QualityInfo.org/press-release. To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit QualityInfo.org, 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 Oregon.gov/employ.
The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. Everyone has a right to use OED programs and services. OED provides free help. Some examples are: Sign language and spoken language interpreters, written materials in other languages, braille, large print, audio and other formats. If you need help, please call 971-673-6400. TTY users call 711. You can also ask for help at OED_Communications@employ.oregon.gov.