Pages

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eighteen Counties Had Low Historic Unemployment Rates in March

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in March at 2.9 percent. Grant County (7.1%) registered the highest rate for the month. This was the lowest unemployment rate for Grant County since comparable records began in 1990. Eighteen counties were at or tied with their historic low unemployment rates.

Nine of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 3.8 percent and 22 counties were at or below the national rate of 4.5 percent. Gilliam County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 2.9 percentage points, more than any other county.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between March 2016 and March 2017. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+3.1%) and Southern Oregon (+2.9%). The Willamette Valley (+1.8%), Portland (+1.4%), and Eastern Oregon (+0.7%) also saw growth. The Oregon Coast saw a negligible growth rate of 0.1 percent over the year.
See the full labor force and unemployment by area press release in 36 counties and metropolitan areas in Oregon.

Friday, April 21, 2017

How Many People Get Associate’s Degrees in Oregon?

Nationwide more than a million students obtained an associate’s degree from 3,197 schools in the 2014-2015 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. In Oregon, 13,681 students graduated with an associate’s degree from 39 schools during the same academic year. Women accounted for 58 percent of graduates and men for 42 percent.

Over a 10-year period the number of associate’s degree graduates increased 61 percent. Before the recession (in the 2006-2007 school year) only 8,130 students obtained an associate’s degree. During the recession and early part of the recovery, many unemployed workers went back to school to learn new skills and earn a degree. This increased the number of associate’s graduates to a peak of 14,251 in the 2012-2013 school year. As the economy improved, the number of graduates has decreased in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. 

In the 2014-2015 school year the top two programs of study accounted for 57 percent of the associate’s degrees awarded in the state – and they are general programs geared toward student transfers to four-year institutions. Liberal arts and sciences/liberal studies graduates summed to almost 5,000 in 2015. Another 2,700 students graduated with an associate’s degree in general studies. 


For more information, read the full article "The Value of an Associate’s Degree" written by Economists Felicia Bechtoldt and Jessica Nelson.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Hits Record Low 3.8 Percent in March

Oregon's unemployment rate hit another record low in March. The 3.8 percent unemployment rate improved from 4.0 percent in February, and is the lowest unemployment rate since comparable statistics began in 1976.

Oregon's March unemployment rate sits significantly below the U.S rate of 4.5 percent. The last time Oregon’s unemployment rate was this far below the U.S. was the mid-1990s.
The state's payrolls continued to grow, adding 2,400 jobs last month. Job growth has slowed slightly in recent months. Still, Oregon's 2.2 percent job growth over the year outpaced the national growth rate of 1.5 percent.

Professional and business services added the most jobs of any major industry, with a gain of 1,700 jobs in March. Construction grew the fastest over the year; the sector added 8,200 jobs for a growth rate of 9.2 percent since last March.

You can find more information about Oregon's unemployment rate and job growth in the full news release



Friday, April 14, 2017

Oregon Businesses Adding Jobs Faster than Government

Oregon has been adding jobs at a faster rate than the nation since 2013. The growth has been across a wide range of industries paying low-, middle-, and high-wages. The fastest growing industry over the last three years was construction, which added 16,400 jobs for an annual growth rate equivalent to 6.9 percent. The only major industry that hasn’t grown much in the last three years is mining and logging, which added just 100 jobs for an annual growth rate of just 0.4 percent.

The government sector covers jobs in federal, state, and local government. This includes public schools and hospitals. Government job growth in Oregon over the last three years has been driven by the recovery of government budgets following the end of the recession; growth in Oregon’s population; and an increase in the number of home care workers.

The number of home care workers has grown rapidly since 2013, adding about 4,300 jobs for an annual growth rate of 10.5 percent. Home care workers account for one out of four jobs added to Oregon’s government sector during the last three years. In other states, home care workers are counted in private sector health care and social assistance, even when those jobs are funded through Medicaid. 
Read more about job growth in Oregon in the full article written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Twenty-Three Counties Were at Their Historic Low Unemployment Rates in February

Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February at 2.9 percent. Grant County (7.2%) registered the highest rate for the month. Fourteen of Oregon’s counties had unemployment rates at or below the statewide rate of 4.0 percent and 22 counties were below the national rate of 4.7 percent. Gilliam County saw its unemployment rate improve over the year by 2.2 percentage points, more than any other county. Twenty-three counties were at or tied with their historic low unemployment rates in February.

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose in all of Oregon’s six broad regions between February 2016 and February 2017. The largest job gains occurred in Central Oregon (+3.2%) and Southern Oregon (+3.1%). The Willamette Valley (+1.8%), Portland (+1.2%), Eastern Oregon (+1.1%), and the Oregon Coast (+0.3%) also saw growth.

See the full labor force and unemployment by area press release in 36 counties and metropolitan areas in Oregon.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rising Craigslist Ad Costs Cause Help Wanted Online Index to Drop

Online advertisements for jobs fell by 22 percent in Oregon between February 2016 and February 2017, according to The Conference Board Help Wanted OnLine data series (HWOL). Job ads also declined across the nation, but at a lower rate of 15.7 percent. Recent drops in the number of online job ads do not fully reflect changes in labor demand. Oregon’s job ad decline follows a steady decline in the unemployment rate and steady job gains during the year. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in February 2017 and total nonfarm employment grew by 2.2 percent (39,900 jobs) over the prior 12 months.

Labor economists noticed that the price increases for online job ads had distorted the recent HWOL data. Job ads posted through Craigslist are a major source of online job ads picked up by HWOL. For many years, Craigslist charged a fee for posting job ads only in major cities, including the Portland metro area where the cost of a job ad was $25. In October 2015, the cost of posting job ads increased in major cities; the cost in Portland rose to $35. The number of HWOL ads, which had been stable in the prior year, started drifting downwards after the price increase.
From December 2015 to December 2016, Craigslist expanded their practice of charging fees to all areas in the United States. The cost for posting job ads varies by area. The minimum cost is $7 per job ad (up from free) in the Eastern Oregon, Coastal Oregon, Roseburg, and Klamath Falls areas. In Bend, Corvallis, Albany, Medford, and Ashland the cost is $10 per ad and in the Salem and Eugene metro areas the cost is $15 per ad. The recent price increase caused another noticeable drop in the number of HWOL ads. Almost all Oregon counties and metro areas saw declines in job ads over the year. Among metro areas, the largest declines occurred in Medford (-29.3%), Corvallis (-28.3%), and Grants Pass (-25.9%).

For more information, read the full article "Rising Craigslist Ad Costs Cause Help Wanted Online Index to Drop" written by Economist Felicia Bechtoldt.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How Much Women Earn in Oregon

More than 848,000 jobs at Oregon businesses or state and local governments were held by women in 2015. Women represent 49 percent of employment in Oregon, but the share of jobs held by women varies considerably by industry.

Women’s average earnings were $3,375 per month in 2015, which was 69 percent of the $4,868 average monthly earnings of men. The average woman brings home nearly $1,500 a month less than the average man. Like employment, the earnings of women relative to men vary by industry.

The average monthly paycheck for women is about two-thirds the average monthly paycheck for men, but this fact is not a very useful measure of gender pay inequality. Average monthly earnings figures do not take into account other factors affecting pay, such as total hours worked and hourly wages. Adjusting for the number of hours worked narrows the earnings gap between women and men, but still does not account for other factors that can significantly affect pay.

Women’s Average Earnings by Industry

Average monthly earnings of women were lower than that of men in every industry. The ratio of women’s to men’s earnings ranged from a relatively close 87 percent in accommodation and food services to a disparate 55 percent in finance and insurance. There are many factors behind these disparities in earnings, such as the number of hours worked and the relative wages of occupations with higher concentrations of women, but that information is not available from this data source.

Women working in Oregon’s health care and social assistance sector have an average monthly paycheck of $3,641, which is just 62 percent of the men’s average. Women working in finance and insurance have a higher average paycheck than women in most other industries, but their earnings pale in comparison to what men are bringing in. With earnings just 55 percent of men’s, women in finance and insurance receive an average of $3,900 a month less than what men are making.

The smallest disparity is in accommodation and food services, where women’s earnings average 87 percent that of men’s. The large share of minimum wage earners in this industry likely contributes to this relative earnings equality. That near equity has a cost though, as average paychecks of both women and men were lower in accommodation and food services than in any other major industry.

Read the full article "Where Women Work and How Much They Earn" written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Reaches Record Low 4.0 Percent in February

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in February, from 4.3 percent in January. This was the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon’s 4.0 percent unemployment rate was significantly lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.7 percent in February.

In February, the number of unemployed Oregonians dropped to about 82,000, which was the lowest number since August 1995 when about 82,000 were unemployed. By contrast, the labor force has grown from just under 1.7 million in 1995 to over 2.0 million today. 


In February, nonfarm payroll employment surged ahead by 8,200 following a revised gain of 700 in January. Government grew the most of the major sectors, as it added 4,400 jobs, rebounding from a loss of 3,400 jobs in January. Similarly, health care and social assistance shot up by 2,400 jobs in February following a loss of 1,700 the prior month. Manufacturing added 1,300 after a loss of 200 in January. Construction continued to grow rapidly by adding 900 jobs in February, following a strong gain of 2,500 in January. Only one major industry cut more than 600 jobs in February as transportation, warehousing and utilities shed 1,400.

Over the past 12 months, payroll employment added 39,900 jobs, or 2.2 percent, which was a slight deceleration from the growth rate near or above 3 percent throughout much of the past four years. Oregon is still growing faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Read the Oregon Employment Department's full press release

Monday, March 20, 2017

Oregon’s Job Growth 8th Fastest Among the States

Oregon had the eighth fastest job growth among the states from January 2016 to January 2017. Adding 43,200 jobs for a growth rate of 2.4 percent, Oregon’s solid job growth was much slower than first ranked Idaho (+4.0%) and second ranked Nevada (+3.5%). Oregon’s job growth rate was nestled between Washington (2.8%) and California (2.0%) growth rates.

Most states added jobs over the last year. States that had job losses are heavily dependent on the energy sector: Wyoming (-3.2%), Alaska (-2.7%), North Dakota (-0.7%), Oklahoma (-0.6%), West Virginia (-0.6%), Louisiana (-0.4%), and Kansas (-0.2%). These states have seen large job losses in their mining sectors over the last year.

Oregon’s growth rate last year was faster than the U.S. rate of 1.6 percent. That’s not unusual; Oregon has been adding jobs faster than the U.S. since 2013.

Construction Sector Ranked 2nd Fastest

Looking at job growth rankings by industry sector shows that many areas of Oregon’s economy were adding jobs at a fast pace. Growth was very strong in Oregon’s mining, logging, and construction sector; in financial activities; and in other services.
The number of jobs grew by 10.3 percent in Oregon’s mining, logging, and construction sector, which ranked second among the states behind Idaho’s growth rate of 11.0 percent. Oregon’s growth was entirely due to construction jobs because mining and logging lost jobs. These sectors are combined in this analysis to allow for comparisons across all states. Not every state has published data for either mining and logging or construction, but all states have data for the combined sectors. Alaska ranked last, losing 13.3 percent of the jobs in this sector during the last 12 months.

Learn more about other fastest growing industries in the article "Oregon’s Job Growth 8th Fastest Among the States" written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks

Monday, March 13, 2017

An Overview of Oregon’s Labor Force in 2016

Oregon’s 2016 annual average labor force figures have arrived. Here’s a quick overview of the numbers.

Total population = 4,093,000
-          Civilian noninstitutional population, 16 years and over = 3,274,000
o   Civilian labor force = 2,061,000
§  Employed = 1,960,000
§  Unemployed = 101,000
o   Not in labor force = 1,213,000
-          Under 16 years old, on active duty in the military, or living in an institutional setting = 819,000

The 819,000 people are not counted in the labor force statistics because they are not likely to participate in the labor market since they are under 16 years old, on active duty in the military, or living in an institutional setting, such as a correctional institution or a residential nursing or mental health facility.

The 1,213,000 who are not in the labor force are not actively looking for work. Half of these people are retired, one-eighth have a disability that is keeping them out of the labor force, and the rest have some other reason for not looking for work (usually family care or full-time school).

The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed divided by the labor force, so 101,000/2,061,000 = 4.9 percent. This annual average rate for 2016 tied with 1995 as a record low for Oregon going back to 1976, the earliest we have comparable records.

Another key indicator is the labor force participation rate, which is the civilian labor force divided by the civilian noninstitutional population, 16 years and over, so 2,061,000/3,274,000 = 63.0 percent. The labor force participation rate receives more attention than it used to because long term it’s on a downward trend in Oregon and the U.S. That's due to more baby boomers reaching retirement age and leaving the labor force, and fewer teenagers joining the labor force than in past generations. See more in our report Oregon’s Falling Labor Force Participation: A Story of Baby Boomers, Youth, and the Great Recession.

Written by State Employment Economist Nick Beleicks.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Oregon’s Unemployment Rate Reached a Record Low of 4.3 Percent in January

Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in January, from 4.5 percent in December. This was the lowest unemployment rate since comparable records began in 1976. Revised figures show Oregon’s unemployment rate has been on a declining trend over the past seven years. Outside of the past 12 months, the only other time, over the past forty years, that Oregon’s rate reached below 5 percent was between November 1994 and September 1995 when the rate dropped as low as 4.7 percent. In January, the U.S. unemployment rate was 4.8 percent.

In January, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 2,600, which was less than the average of 3,500 jobs added per month over the past six months. Monthly growth was strongest in construction, which added 2,100 jobs, and retail trade, which added 1,200. Monthly losses were largest in health care and social assistance (-1,100 jobs) and government (-1,100).


Newly revised payroll employment figures show a slowdown in the overall rate of job gains in recent months, following quite rapid gains during the prior few years. Over the past 12 months, payroll employment added 43,200 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Growth was very fast in construction, which added 10,000 jobs, or 11.5 percent. In that time several major industries grew rapidly, by close to 4 percent: transportation, warehousing, and utilities (+2,600 jobs, or 4.4%); financial activities (+3,700 jobs, or 3.9%); information (+1,200 jobs, or 3.6%); and health care and social assistance (+8,000 jobs, or 3.5%). Meanwhile only two industries cut jobs in that time: manufacturing (-1,400 jobs, or -0.7%) and mining and logging (-200 jobs, or -2.6%). 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sweet Job-Related Facts for Valentine's Day

Happy birthday Oregon, and happy Valentine's day to our readers! Because we love numbers and holidays (and candy), today we will share some Valentine's Day stats with you.

Be Mine

30.2 and 27.9
The median age of Oregon men and women at first marriage in 2015.

48.6%
The percentage of Oregonians 15 and older who were married in 2015. 

1,028,781
The number of Oregonians ages 15 and over in 2015 who had never married.

399
The number of dating service establishments nationwide as of 2012 according to the Economic Census of the U.S. Census Bureau. These establishments, which include internet dating services, employed 2,348 people.

Sweets for my Sweet

43

Oregon chocolate confectionery manufacturers in 2015 making chocolates to share with that special someone, or to treat yourself! These firms employed 331 employees and paid nearly $7.5 million in wages.

22
Oregon non-chocolate confectionery manufacturers in 2015 making candy bars, synthetic chocolate, toffees, marshmallows, candy-covered popcorn products, nuts, chewing gum, and candied fruits and fruit peel. These manufacturers employed 352 employees and paid $10 million in wages.

145
The number of florist establishments creating sweet-smelling flower arrangements statewide in 2015. They employed 636 workers and paid $9.8 million in wages.

245
The number of stores in Oregon with jewelry for your Valentine.