Oregon job growth slows; unemployment rate stays same

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon employment fell off last month, but not enough to dent the jobless rate.

The state Employment Department said Tuesday that Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment dropped by 1,800 jobs in November, a sharp reversal from a robust October. The unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 4.2 percent — down from 4.6 percent at this time last year.

With unemployment low, state economist Nick Beleiciks says businesses are having a tough time finding applicants, and that has slowed Oregon’s job growth in the second half of the year.

As for specific industries, leisure and hospitality did a lot of hiring in November, but manufacturing had a weak month, as did professional and business services.

Another unemployment measure, known as U-6, was at 8.3 percent in November, well below the 9.9 percent recorded in November 2016. The figure includes discouraged workers who stopped looking and part-time workers who want but can’t get full-time jobs.