In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 6,200 in May, following gains averaging 6,000 jobs in the prior six months. Monthly gains in May were largest in leisure and hospitality (+3,200 jobs); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+1,300); wholesale trade (+900); and manufacturing (+800). Construction (-1,100 jobs) was the only major industry that shed a substantial number of jobs.
Over the past 12 months, nonfarm payrolls rose by 82,700 jobs, or 4.4%. Leisure and hospitality accounted for more than a third of these gains, growing by 29,400 jobs, or 17.2%. Private educational services grew by 3,000 jobs, or 9.3%, which was the second fastest growth rate of the major industries. Several industries grew by close to 5% since May 2021, including construction; wholesale trade; professional and business services; and manufacturing. None of the major industries declined a substantial amount over the past 12 months.
Durable goods manufacturing growth accelerated, as the industry added 8,800 jobs, or 6.9%, during the past 12 months. All of its component industries added jobs in that time. Computer and electronic products (+4,200 jobs, or 11.2%) added the bulk of jobs in durable goods manufacturing. Primary metals manufacturing (+800 job, or 12.3%) grew at the fastest rate, while three other component industries each added close to 1,100 jobs—machinery, fabricated metals, and wood products.
Oregon’s unemployment rate edged down to 3.6% in May, from 3.7% in April, reaching its lowest level in more than two years. The rate is close to Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which occurred in each of the four months of November 2019 through February 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.6% in both April and May 2022.
Oregon’s rising labor force participation rate is another sign that more people are getting back to work. In May, the participation rate rose to 63.5%, its highest reading in 10 years. This measure of how many people are working or looking for work has risen rapidly since reaching a low of 59.2% in April 2020 during the worst of the COVID recession. Oregon’s labor force participation rate of 63.5% in May was well above the comparable U.S. figure of 62.3%.
Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the May county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Wednesday, June 22, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for June on Wednesday, July 20.
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted except for the component industries within durable goods manufacturing.
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 October, November and December 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 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.