Oregon Adds 8,300 Jobs in January

Posted on March 9, 2021

Oregon Employment Department – 03/09/21 10:00 AM

Oregon’s unemployment rate edged down to 6.2% in January from 6.3%, as revised, in December. The state’s unemployment rate dropped by close to four tenths of a percentage point in each of the last three months of 2020, following more rapid declines during the prior five months. Oregon’s peak unemployment rate, as recently revised, was 13.2% in April 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate has also dropped rapidly since April, and reached 6.3% in January.

Nonfarm payroll employment rose 8,300 jobs in January, following a loss of 27,500 in December. Three industries each added close to 2,000 jobs in January: retail trade (+2,100 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+2,100); and private educational services (+1,900). Two of the major industries cut about 1,000 jobs: transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-1,000 jobs) and construction (-800).

Despite the net job gain in January, employment still remains substantially below pre-pandemic levels. Total nonfarm payroll employment has dropped 162,800 jobs, or 8.3%, since January 2020. Nearly all industries have cut jobs during that time. Leisure and hospitality is still down 76,800 jobs, or 35.6%, since January 2020. Private educational services experienced the second largest percentage decline in that time, as it cut 8,400 jobs, or 22.6%. The only industry to add jobs in the past 12 months was transportation, warehousing and utilities, which added 4,100 jobs, or 5.6%.

Newly revised employment numbers show job growth was stronger than initially reported in the second half of 2020. The trend in the last six months of the year was revised upward by an average of 8,700 jobs. However, the pandemic-induced drop during the spring of 2020 was 8,000 jobs larger than previously estimated.

Manufacturing was looking better than the previous estimates indicated, with upward revisions of about 2,300 jobs during the last six months of 2020. Nondurable goods manufacturing has added 3,500 jobs since April. Similarly, wholesale trade employment was revised upward; it added 1,500 jobs since its spring-2020 low point. Professional and technical services was also revised upward substantially. It employed 101,100 jobs in January, which was essentially equal to its high point of a year ago. For the December data, only three major industries were revised downward substantially due to the annual revisions: retail trade (-2,200 jobs); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-1,500); and private educational services (-1,500).

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the January county and metropolitan area unemployment rates today, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for February on Tuesday, March 16.

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.


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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