Nonfarm payroll employment in Oregon rose by 10,000 in November, following a revised gain of 6,400 jobs in October. In November, gains were largest in leisure and hospitality (+4,100 jobs), construction (+1,800), professional and business services (+1,600), and retail trade (+1,100). These gains were partially offset by a loss of 1,100 jobs in health care and social assistance.
Several industries added enough jobs to reach all-time highs. Construction employed 113,800 in November, which was 500 jobs above its prior record reached in February 2020 during the peak of Oregon’s prior economic expansion. Similarly, wholesale trade, which added 400 jobs in November, reached 77,400, enough to boost it to a record high for the first time since February 2020. Professional and business services rose to 257,500 jobs in November, which was 100 jobs above its pre-COVID record.
Leisure and hospitality added 4,100 jobs in November, following a gain of 3,600 in October. Despite these gains, leisure and hospitality still accounts for a large share of Oregon’s jobs not recovered since early 2020, with 25,400 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020. The industry has regained 77% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.
Education and health services was 16,000 jobs — or 5% — below its pre-recession peak. Within this broad industry, nursing and residential care facilities was 6,900 jobs below its pre-recession peak, and private educational services was down 3,900. Employment in hospitals was down 2,700 jobs, and ambulatory health care services was down 1,200.
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2% in November, down from 4.4% in October. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 4.2% in November. Oregon’s unemployment rate has declined rapidly over the past six months; it was close to 6% throughout the first half of the year. Oregon’s unemployment rate is now close to the state’s historically low unemployment rates which averaged 3.9% during 2017 through 2019, the three calendar years at the end of the prior economic expansion.
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the November county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Dec. 21, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for December on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted except for the components of health care.
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 2021 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 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 unemployment.oregon.gov.
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