Oregon’s over-the-year growth rate of 2.7 percent was well above the historical average and ranks fifth for growth rates since 2000. That is a brisk rate, but noticeably slower than the previous two years of 3.3 percent in 2015 and 3.0 percent in 2014.
The jobs added in 2016 were not just low-paying jobs. On the contrary, a mix of industries paying lower, middle, and higher average wages contributed to overall job growth. This means the average real hourly wage of Oregon’s workers continued to rise. Now approaching $25.00 per hour, the average real hourly wage in 2016 is the highest it’s been in recent years.
Oregon’s unemployment rate fell over the year, moving from 5.6 percent in November 2015 to 5.0 percent in November 2016. The strong job growth during the year was matched by a fall in the number of unemployed and an increase in Oregon’s labor force. The unemployment rate in 2016 was well below Oregon’s long-term (back to 1976) historical average of 7.2 percent.
Learn more about key industries that drove job growth and the forecast for 2017 in the article "2016 in Review: Another Winning Year of Job Growth in Oregon" by State Employment Economist Nick Beleiciks.