Oregon’s Nonfarm Payroll Employment Rises by 6,100 in December

Posted on January 19, 2023

In Oregon, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,100 jobs in December, following a gain of 8,200jobs in November. The gains in December were largest in manufacturing (+2,400 jobs), construction (+1,300), and professional and business services (+1,100). The largest decline in December was in other services, which cut 500 jobs.

Oregon’s private sector added 5,600 jobs in December, reaching another all-time high of 1,694,200. This was 22,500 jobs, or 1.3%, above the pre-recession peak in February 2020.

Construction continued its rapid expansion in December. The industry added 10,200 jobs in 2022, for an annual growth rate of 9.1%. Gains were widespread throughout the industry, with all published components growing between 5.9% and 14.9% over that 12-month period. Building equipment contractors (+3,700 jobs, or 11.5%) and building finishing contractors (+2,200 jobs, or 14.9%) grew at the fastest rate.

Leisure and hospitality is still substantially below its pre-pandemic peak. But its revised gain of 1,500 jobs in November, coupled with its gain of 600 in December, kept the industry on its recent upward trajectory. Over the past 12 months it added 16,900 jobs, accounting for a quarter of Oregon’s private- sector job gains during that time.

Oregon’s unemployment rate rose to 4.5% in December, from 4.3%, as revised, in November. The unemployment rate increased 1.0 percentage point over the past five months from its recent low of 3.5% in May, June, and July. The last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was 4.5% or more was in September 2021, when it was 4.5%. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate remained below 4% during the last three months of 2022, and it edged down from 3.6% in November to 3.5% in December.

Putting Oregon’s 4.5% December unemployment rate in a broader context: It has been relatively rare, historically, for Oregon’s unemployment rate to be below 4.5%. This occurred during the 14 months prior to December, when the rate averaged 3.9%. Also, from 2017 through 2019 the rate averaged
3.9%. But prior to late 2016, Oregon’s rate never dropped below 4.5% in any month dating back 40 years — from 1976, when comparable records began, to October 2016.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the December county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Jan. 24, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for January on Tuesday, March 7.


All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted, except for the industries within construction.

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 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, select Tools, then choose LAUS or CES under the Economy header. 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.

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is an equal opportunity agency. OED provides free help so you can use our services. Some examples are sign language and spoken- language interpreters, written materials in other languages, large print, audio, and other formats. To get help, please call 503-947-1444. TTY users call 711. You can also send an email to communications@employ.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Empleo de Oregon (OED) es una agencia de igualdad de oportunidades. El OED proporciona ayuda gratuita para que usted pueda utilizar nuestros servicios. Algunos ejemplos son intérpretes de lengua de señas e idiomas hablados, materiales escritos en otros idiomas, letra grande, audio y otros formatos. Para obtener ayuda, por favor llame al 503-947-1444. Usuarios de TTY pueden llamar al 711. También puede enviar un correo electrónico a communications@employ.oregon.gov.

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