Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Ties a Record Low at 3.4% in July

Posted on August 16, 2023

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% in July, down from 3.5% in June. This was the sixth consecutive monthly drop in the unemployment rate, down from a recent high of 4.8% in January. The July rate equaled Oregon’s record low of 3.4%, which was reached in November and December 2019. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.5% in July, which was very close to Oregon’s July rate.

In July, Oregon’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,800 jobs, following a gain of 5,700 jobs in June. July’s gain was nearly double the average increase of 3,700 jobs per month during the prior 12 months.

Over-the-month job gains were largest in health care and social assistance (+3,400 jobs); government (+1,600); professional and business services (+1,000); and construction (+900). Declines were largest in financial activities (-600 jobs); manufacturing (-500); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (-500); and private educational services (-500).

Over the past 12 months, three major industries—health care and social assistance; leisure and hospitality; and government—have added nearly all of Oregon’s net new jobs, with each up by close to 10,000 jobs while expanding by about 4% to 5%.

Health care and social assistance grew by 13,900 jobs, or 5.2%, contributing the most new jobs since July 2022. Each component of health care rapidly added jobs in the past 12 months. Nursing and residential care facilities added 2,800 jobs, or 5.7%, since July 2022. The industry remains slightly below its peak employment, reached in early 2020. Similarly, hospitals added 1,900 jobs, or 3.3%, over the year. Despite the recent growth, the industry was slightly below its March 2020 peak employment level. Meanwhile, ambulatory healthcare services added 2,400 jobs, or 2.5%, in the past 12 months and reached a record high of 98,300 jobs in July.

Durable goods manufacturing cut 700 jobs in July. Since July 2022, several of its component industries each cut a few hundred jobs. The bright spot was transportation equipment manufacturing, which added 400 jobs over the past 12 months. Nondurable goods manufacturing added 1,300 jobs.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the July county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, Aug. 22, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for August on Wednesday, Sep. 13.

Notes: 
All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted, except the component industries within health care and 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 January, February and March 2023 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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