Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.0% in February

Posted on March 22, 2022

Oregon Employment Department – 03/22/22 10:00 AM


Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.0% in February

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.0% in February, from 4.2%, as revised, in January. Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped rapidly from its peak in April 2020 through late 2021, and is now at its lowest level since prior to the pandemic-induced recession in March 2020 when it was 3.5%. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.8% in February and 4.0% in January.

In February, 59,000 Oregonians had been unemployed for less than six months, which was near the lowest number in two decades. Meanwhile, 24,000 Oregonians had been unemployed for more than six months, as the number of long-term unemployed decreased rapidly since hitting a recent peak of 65,000 in April 2021.

In February, Oregon’s nonfarm payroll employment rose by 12,300 jobs, following a revised gain of 5,100 jobs in January. This was the largest monthly gain since July 2021 when 34,800 jobs were added.

In February, gains were largest in leisure and hospitality (+3,500 jobs), construction (+2,300), health care and social assistance (+1,600), and professional and business services (+1,200). Eight other industries each added between 200 and 900 jobs. None of the major industries had a substantial job loss in February.

Leisure and hospitality rapidly added jobs all of this year and last year. It added 51,700 jobs, or 34.4%, since February 2021. Despite these gains, leisure and hospitality still accounts for a large share of the jobs Oregon has not recovered since early 2020, with 14,600 jobs left to recover to reach the prior peak month of February 2020. The industry has regained 87% of jobs lost early in the pandemic.

Construction reached another record high of 116,100 jobs in February. Mild weather in mid-February allowed roofers and other contractors to get jobs done that may have been postponed in more inclement winters.

Professional and technical services employed 106,000 in February and continued its rapid expansion. It added 4,700 jobs, or 4.6%, since its pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Next Press Releases

The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the February county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, March 29, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for March on Wednesday, April 13.



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 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.





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