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Oregon’s jobless rate hits new record low of 3.9%

Unemployment rate MGN
MGN graphic

Has now been in record-low territory for over 3 years

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9 percent in November, the lowest on comparable records dating back to 1976, the Oregon Employment Department reported Tuesday.

The October unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, as revised from the originally reported figure of 4.1 percent.

In November, Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped below 4 percent for the first time since comparable records dating back to 1976. This puts the rate slightly above the November U.S. rate of 3.5 percent. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been hovering near historical lows of near 4 percent for the past 37 months.

Meanwhile, total nonfarm payroll employment shot up by 6,300 jobs in November, following an upwardly revised gain of 6,500 jobs in October. October was revised upward by 2,100 jobs.

So far in 2019, monthly employment gains have averaged 2,600 jobs, which is slightly slower than in 2018, when monthly growth averaged 3,000 jobs.

The tight labor market, and perhaps the unusually mild and dry weather in November, seem to have influenced seasonal trends in the major industries, officials said/ Industries that normally shed a lot of workers during the autumn months didn’t cut back as much as normal.

In November, the following industries cut back less than normal, and therefore posted seasonally adjusted job gains: construction (+2,200 jobs), manufacturing (+1,900 jobs), and professional and business services (+1,400 jobs).

On the flip side, the tight labor market may have inhibited certain industries from hiring as many workers as normal in November. Government and retail trade both normally add a substantial number of jobs in November, but each industry hired a few hundred jobs fewer than normal for the month.

Oregon’s over-the-year job growth of 1.6 percent closely matched the U.S. job growth of 1.5 percent. Most of Oregon’s major industries have expanded by about 2 percent since November 2018. The primary exception of an industry growing faster was education and health services, which grew by 9,900 jobs, or 3.3 percent. Conversely, the only major industry that contracted substantially over the past 12 months was retail trade, which cut 1,800 jobs, or -0.9 percent.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the November county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, December 24th, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for December on Wednesday, January 22nd.



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 April, May, and June 2019 tax records data. 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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  1. It’s all Trump’s fault and you Liberal MORON’s just don’t understand how he did it . . . Three years in and NO, it doesn’t have any Obama designs in it! Obama said to get used to the high unemployment and shrinking job market.

  2. This is great news!!! More good news is that according to little lyin donnie “Ivanka, singlehandedly created 14 MILLION jobs” I’m sure thats true !!!!! ROTFLMAO!!! Now if only Emporer bonespurs could decree that the totally failing coal industry was booming !!! Soooo much winning!!!

  3. Wow, despite Kate Brown and all the Dem’s in Oregon, Trump is doing well for our state. Next we will hear from Merkley and Wyden saying this is all their doing, or that it is false.

  4. what kind of yoyo crap is this, again. 2 weeks ago same headlines, last week record unemployment filings, the sky is falling, Christmas is doomed. now things couldn’t be rosier again. we seem to be getting conflicting stories between the cnn sourced ones and the stories ktvz writes

  5. First, to be fair and not hypocritical, I need to point out that the conservative right not fall into the same hyprocrital, hateful name calling that the “Loving Left” use. It gets both sides no where fast. Please refrain from the name calling, it just puts you on the same level as the “loving left”. Next, the low un-employment figures are despite what the left and the governor of Oregon have done, by raising of personal taxes, business taxes, and the minum wages. All of which are destructive to not only the economy, but to employment. Fortunately we have a President who understands this and works to repeal the destructive policies the progressive left has imposed on all of us since their favorite progressive President Woodrow Wilson. Just look to California and Washington states, long time businesses closing do to all the same policies pushed on us by our One Party Rule State. Allow capitalism to work, and we all benefit.

    1. I’m happy to allow capitalism to work. I’d like a president who understands business well enough to at least be able to make more money over the past 20 years than a mutual fund tracking the S&P. Maybe one that can avoid bankrupting a casino. Oh well, guess I’m just too demanding. Let’s just funnel out more money to farmers who are still going bankrupt, Let’s see. .. We’ve passed out twice as much to farmers as Obama used to bail out the auto industry (money we got back with interest by the way). Net effect? They’ve lost all their Chinese markets and things are pretty much the same as before with the Chinese having suffered much less from this trade war. You know. The one your “stable genius” is losing so badly. As for name calling? Please come out from under your rock and actually listen to the man you voted for. You’re very poorly informed.

  6. Thanks Kate. In spite of Dump and his economic policies that benefit only the rich and red states, Oregon is doing alright. Let’s also give a hearty “thank you” to our Congressional reps who have worked hard for the working citizens of this state (both Democrat and republican).

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