Tuesday, December 14, 2010

State Employment Situation and New Census Data!

In November, Oregon's seasonally adjusted nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,300 jobs, following a gain of 6,700 (as revised) in October.

Despite two consecutive months of solid job growth, Oregon's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10.6 percent in November, essentially unchanged from 10.5 percent in October. The state's unemployment rate has remained between 10.5 percent and 10.7 percent for the most recent 13 months. In November, the civilian labor force in Oregon -- those who are employed, plus those who are unemployed but actively seeking and able to accept work -- surpassed two million people for the first time.

By industry, the largest seasonally adjusted employment gain over the month occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities. Much of the 3,400 jobs added were concentrated in retail trade. While we expect to see growth in retail as the holidays approach, job growth was well above seasonal expectations. Retail trade reached its highest employment level in nearly two years.

Other industry sectors that experienced large seasonally adjusted gains in November included: manufacturing (1,500); educational and health services (1,100); and leisure and hospitality (1,000). The construction industry continues to struggle. Construction shed 1,900 jobs in November, and has nearly returned to its recessionary low.

You can get more details on employment and unemployment numbers in the full press release.

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In other news, the U.S. Census Bureau released the first 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) estimates today. The ACS data provide detailed demographic, economic, and housing characteristics of the population.

This 5-year data release is particularly exciting for areas with small populations. Current 1-year and 3-year ACS estimates only publish information for more populated areas (65,000 and 20,000 respectively). The 5-year estimates mark the first time that smaller communities and rural areas in Oregon (and nationwide) can get detailed data more frequently than once every 10 years!

To learn more about the ACS 5-year estimates, you can read the Census Bureau's press release, or go explore the data.

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