Oregon gained almost 59,000 jobs between March 2015 and March 2016, growth of 3.3 percent. Only Idaho (3.6%) saw jobs grow more quickly during this period. Utah matched Oregon at 3.3 percent, while Washington and Tennessee followed closely at 3.2 percent.
States that lost jobs over the year included North Dakota (-4.5%) and Wyoming (-3.2%). These states have a large share of jobs in the mining industry, which has lost 185,000 jobs nationally since 2014.
Oregon's growth continued in several of the major industries that have expanded the fastest over the year. Construction gained 4,400, or 5.3 percent, since March 2015, professional and business services added 11,900, and health care and social assistance added 10,100 over the year.
Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 4.5 percent in March—the lowest point since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon’s February unemployment rate was 4.8 percent. A year ago, in March 2015, Oregon’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent.
With the U.S. unemployment rate at 5.0 percent in March, and Oregon’s unemployment rate at 4.5 percent, this puts Oregon’s rate half a percentage point below the U.S. rate. The last time Oregon’s rate was half a percentage point below the U.S. rate was in November 1995.
Currently, Oregon's unemployment rate is the 23rd lowest in the nation. Oregon has a lower unemployment rate than California (5.4%), Nevada (5.8%), and Washington (5.8%), but a higher unemployment rate than Idaho (3.89).
You can view the unemployment rate for all states in our State Unemployment Ranking Tool.